SPNEC preparing 1,000-hectare expansion for joint venture

Solar Ph Nueva Ecija Expansion

Fresh from its Php2.7 billion initial public offering (IPO), Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation (SPNEC) said it is preparing a planned expansion under a joint venture. 

SPNEC, the developer of the 500-megawatt (MW) “solar ranch” in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija, earlier said part of the IPO proceeds will go to the construction of the first 50MW of the project, with the largest part of the capital recently raised intended for land acquisition.

While the joint venture partner has not been named, Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste has emphasized the view that partnering with the country’s leading companies will be key to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

Solar Philippines has existing partnerships with Ayala-led ACEN for its 72MW solar plant project in Pampanga and Enrique Razon’s Prime Infra for its projects in Tarlac, Batangas, and Cavite.

Last year, Solar Philippines announced its strategic shift towards sites and partners, focusing on the development of greenfield sites before bringing in other companies as partners.

In the case of its Nueva Ecija developments, SPNEC is initially limited by the power demand in Central Luzon, but the development of around 60 kilometers of transmission lines to Bulacan would enable the firm to deliver more power directly to the Greater Manila Area. 

“This project’s scale is both its advantage and disadvantage. Unlike 100MW projects located next to existing transmission, this one will need to be at gigawatt-scale to justify the development of new transmission, which is why others have not sought to develop in this area,” Leviste elaborated.

“This is a bet on the demand for large-scale solar, and if such demand does come, this project can become larger than all the solar projects to date in the Philippines combined,” he added.