Philippines set to unveil 22 MW solar facility

Construction on the 22 MW plant in Negros Occidental began in August 2013, with the facility now awaiting its final sign-off from the Energy Regulatory Commission before going into operation. It will begin by offering 13 MW to the power grid at feed-in tariff rates, with the second phase of the project set to begin in June.

Jose Maria Zabaleta Jr., president of San Carlos Solar Energy, the company which built the project, said, "We are incredibly excited to complete and open this wonderful solar plant which will add great value to the country’s renewable energy objectives."

European funding from Thomas Lloyd Group, tax exemptions under the Philippines Renewable Energy Act, and local tax breaks in the St. Carlos region have made the building of the plant possible. Granted tax incentives included a seven-year income tax holiday and duty-free importation of renewable energy machinery, equipment, and materials for the first decade. Conergy AG supplied 22 solar power inverters and 88 000 modules for useage in the plant.

PV Magazine revealed key details of the plant in March. Back then, editor-in-chief Hans-Christoph Neidlein wrote, "Tens of thousands of modules, mounted on module tables with concrete foundations, are already lining the street and the sugar cane fields of San Carlos City’s economic zone. It is here that, on an area of 350,000 square meters, construction on the biggest solar park in the Philippines (22 MW) to date, began in October last year. Up to 1,200 mainly local workers are currently employed on the site, busy constructing more bipedal aluminum module tables from Mounting Systems, assembling modules from Conergy, digging trenches for cables and installing concrete formwork for the central inverter distribution stations from SMA, and assembling yet more modules."

Hamburg-based Conergy made headlines in January when it launched a USD 100m funding program in order to provide financing for large-scale construction projects within America. Within the Philippines, the renewable energies market is leaping ahead with the first photovoltaic projects – rumoured to be 3-to-5 MW – under the FIT program set to be finished in 2014. The recent Thomas Lloyd Cleanteach Congress Europe, held in Frankfurt, showed off the high level of interest and need for investment in Southeast Asian countries’s strive towards renewable energy.