Solar Philippines has announced that it will begin construction works on its 500-megawatt (MW) solar farm in a former ranch in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija in the coming months.
The project is Southeast Asia’s largest solar power project to-date.
Through wholly-owned subsidiary Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation, the company is gearing up to build the project’s first 225MW project, which would be the largest solar venture in the Philippines by far, followed by the remaining 275MW.
The company is keeping its options open on off-take for the project, which can sell its output into the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market during the sunniest hours when demand is highest. This will supplement the Luzon Grid’s thin reserves and help prevent a repeat of the recent Red Alerts and rotating brownouts.
Solar Philippines said the project is expected to create over 5,000 jobs during construction and over 500 jobs during operations, supporting government efforts to create opportunities in the countryside.
“When we began developing this project in 2016, others didn’t believe that large-scale solar would be viable. Because we made this bet then, we now have projects ready to meet the country’s gap in power supply,” Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste said in a statement.
“This is representative of the rest of our pipeline of projects, which were not viable historically, but are viable today with the lower cost of solar and storage. On the other hand, if we started development only now, it would already be too late,” he added.
Solar Philippines has developed a pipeline of over ten gigawatts since its founding in 2013. Last year, the company began partnering with other local and foreign power firms to realize these projects. In January for instance, Solar Philippines formed a joint venture with Ayala-led AC Energy for the development of solar farms across the country, mostly in Central Luzon.
The company is also developing a 2,000 megawatt-peak solar farm in Nasugbu, Batangas. It also said towards the end of last year that it aims to build one gigawatt in projects in 2021.