First Solar announces JV for large-scale solar development in Philippines

U.S. vertically integrated solar company First Solar has announced the creation of a joint venture (JV) for large-scale solar PV development in the Philippines.

The JV with OrionGroup – a Washington-based solar solutions provider – is called FSO Energy Solutions, and will focus on realizing solar PV projects throughout the Philippines’ commercial and industrial market space via power purchase agreements (PPAs).

The creation of the JV is a statement of intent for the thin film giant, which has been targeting growth into emerging solar markets for the past couple of years. FSO will construct and develop solar PV installations across the country, and will sign long-term PPAs with large commercial and industrial customers at attractive rates.

Jack Curtis, First Solar’s regional manager for Asia Pacific, remarked that this venture will address the demand of commercial and industrial consumers in the Philippines who are “looking for an alternative energy source that is reliable, less volatile in price, and lower in cost” than traditional sources.

"This initiative will help to address the gap in demand-supply imbalance caused by various factors like grid supply, costly alternate diesel power and rising electricity costs," he added.

A number of leading solar companies and developers are entering the Philippines market in a big way, including Conergy and SunEdison, who recently announced an agreement to develop and operate some 300 MW of utility-scale solar in the country between now and 2017.