The Philippines is set to be the home to South-East Asia’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant.
Real estate developer Gregorio Araneta recently announced that it will set up a 100 MW solar PV power plant in the Philippines after the successful implementation of a 30 MW project.
The 100 MW project will be set up in Cadiz City, at an estimated investment of $175 million, and is expected to become operational next year. Araneta commissioned a 30 MW solar PV project in March this year, which was implemented in partnership with Singapore-based Soleq, with an investment of $50 million.
The real estate company is bullish on the country’s renewable energy policy and plans to significantly boost its footprint in the solar power market.
The Philippine government has offered attractive incentives to solar power project developers. The government had announced a feed-in tariff scheme wherein projects were offered ¢0.21 per kWh. The tariff scheme attracted overwhelming response from project developers, forcing the government to expand the capacity under the program from 50 MW to 500 MW. The higher tariff of ¢0.21 per kWh will only be available to 70 MW, the remaining balance of 430 MW will be eligible for a tariff of ¢0.19 per kWh.
Several international companies have expressed interest in the Philippines’ renewable energy market. Recently, First Solar entered a joint venture with local developer OrionGroup to set up solar power projects to cater to the the electricity demand of industrial consumers. The joint venture company, FSO Energy, will sign long-term power purchase agreements with the end-users to sell electricity. The strategy fits well in the increasingly common trend of industrial users switching to captive power generation from the traditional supply contracts with utilities.
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