Tarlac City, Philippines — The renewable energy company Solar Philippines will be allotting more than US$150 million of investment for the development of a new solar power plant in the province of Tarlac.
On Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony of the the firm’s 150-megawatt (MW) project in Concepcion, Tarlac.
Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste said that the solar project will be the first renewable power facility in the country to be built at a lower cost than that the traditional coal and the first with battery storage for 24-hour power supply.
At the ceremony, Leviste said in an interview that the project would cost $1 million per megawatt to build but this does not yet include the expenses for the batteries of the solar panel.
“With the battery, depending on the proportion of the battery, it can be an additional 30 to 50 percent of the cost of the project,” Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste said. “We are not going to do the batteries at once. It’s going to be phasing incrementally”.
Once finished, the new solar power plant project will be able to supply electricity in the entire province of Tarlac.
It will be made of close to 450,000 solar panels situated in over 150 hectares, with room to expand as demand for solar with batteries escalates. Leviste added that this project will be the first to feature solar panels that are made in the Philippines, all produced from the firm’s 600 MW Factory in Batangas.
The Solar Philippines is also planning to begin construction on a number of projects this year, including a 50MW facilities in Batangas and Cavite, which will supply power distribution giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) under a recently inked agreement.
The company will in addition venture into international markets as the Philippines soon enters an oversupply of both solar and fossil fuel-based power plants.
To date, the Solar Philippines has completed the Calatagan Solar Farm and projects with SM Prime Holdings Inc., and Robinsons Malls.