Solar Philippines plans for expansion in India

solar philippines

Solar Philippines is looking to enter the Indian solar industry as it develops around 500 megawatts (MW) of solar farms, a top official said.

The company is prioritizing countries with competitive bidding processes for power suppliers as it plans to expand its portfolio outside the country, Solar Philippines Founder and President Leandro Leviste said.

“We’re prioritizing countries where there is a competitive selection process for power suppliers because we believe that that is where we’re most competitive,” he said.

Among the countries is India, where the company plans to take advantage of the tariffs implemented by Chinese government and Malaysian solar panel manufacturers.

“We’re participating in some process in India right now and are aiming to have our first contract signed within this year,” Leviste said.

“I’ll also note that one of the reasons why we’re very bullish in India right now is the government is imposing tariffs on Chinese and Malaysian panels. The Indian solar panel manufacturers, but also non-Chinese and non-Malaysian solar panel manufacturers, will greatly benefit from this,” he added.

The company is targeting 100,000 MW of installed solar capacity by 2022. By 2030, they want it increased to 700,000 MW.

“If we can get one percent of that, that’s already much bigger than what’s in the Philippines. That’s why India is really a role model for the entire world on how a regime of competitive tenders with large volume can encourage the renewable energy industry to stop being dependent on government subsidies but to lower the cost of solar energy,” Leviste said.

Meanwhile, Solar Philippines aims to install approximately 500 MW solar farms in India.

“The wonderful thing about India is perhaps [it’s] the most open market in the world. You don’t need local partners, you don’t need any local connections,” Leviste said. “We’re targeting in the neighborhood of 500 MW of PPAs (power purchase agreements) signed in India within the next year.”

Leviste noted that the company’s growth outside the Philippines depends on the solar investment situation.

“That can be more if the development of Philippine solar projects will not proceed as fast so that we can keep growing the pipeline beyond the Philippines. That could be less if with low prices in the Philippines, we can convince off-takers that solar is the way to go,” he said.

With prices ranging between P2 and P3 per kilowatt-hour (kwh), the solar firm is bidding lower rates in India compared to the rate offered in the Philippines, including prices for large-scale solar projects.

The solar rate is at P2.99 per kwh in the Philippines, which are under the solar power supply agreement (PSA) between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Solar Philippines Tarlac for an 85-MW supply at a rate of P2.9999 per kwh.

The other one is the price offer made by Pilipinas Newton Energy Corp. to Meralco at P2.9887 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) for a 50-MW supply.

Solar Philippines offered a P2.34 per kwh bid, and is currently being evaluated by the power distributor.