Conergy to add 41 MW of solar capacity in Philippines

Conergy will build two new solar plants totalling 41 MWp in the Philippines, bringing its total contracted volume in the fast-growing Asian market to 73 MWp.

The company, which describes itself as the market leader for solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services in the the Philippines, said the country was rapidly increasing energy generation in order to reduce electricity prices, which are the fifth highest in the world. The Philippines is also seeking to improve its competitiveness ahead of next year’s launch of the 10-country Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) single market, which will be the sixth biggest in the world, Conergy noted.

"Electricity market data indicate that average spot electricity prices decline as solar power generation increases, due to reduced consumption of expensive diesel," Conergy added. "Yields from solar panels in the Philippines are roughly equivalent to those in Miami or Cairo. The Philippines government is therefore supporting solar through a feed-in-tariff of $0.21 (€0.17) per kilowatt hour of grid-connected PV."

The new plants will be built on the Philippine island of Negros for San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. (SaCaSol), a joint venture between European-based investment and advisory firm ThomasLloyd and Bronzeoak Philippines. The installations are scheduled for completion and grid connection in June 2015. Conergy will then provide technical and consultancy services for the plants’ ongoing operation and maintenance together with a local service contractor.

Alexander Lenz, president of Conergy Asia & Middle East, said, "We are very encouraged by the increasing recognition of the relevance of solar power in the Philippines as more developers and project sponsors ramp up their investments in utility-scale solar to meet the growing power demand in the country. These two additional projects with SaCaSol, which triple their solar energy capacity, not only underscore solar’s growing acceptance and strong momentum in the country but also demonstrate the improving economics of solar in the Philippines."

The first project, SaCaSol I C/D, involves the expansion of the Philippines’ first large solar plant, SaCaSol I A/B, which Conergy built near the port of San Carlos City and which was inaugurated by Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino in May. The exansion will increase the facility’s capacity by 23 MWp to 45 MWp – enough to supply 27,300 homes in the region.

The second project, SaCaSol II A, will be a completely new 18 MWp solar power plant close to La Carlota City on Negros’ west coast, which will supply an estimated 26,529 megawatt hours of electricity to the grid annually, enough for 11,000 homes, avoiding 16,200 tons of carbon emissions per year.

Earlier this month, SunEdison announced an agreement with Aboitiz Power to jointly explore, develop, construct and operate up to 300 MW of utility-scale solar PV projects in the Philippines over the next three years.