Solar Philippines moves forward with 500 MW solar park

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Manila-based PV module manufacturer and project developer Solar Philippines is set to start construction on a 500 MW solar park on former ranchland in Peñaranda, in the province of Nueva Ecija, in the Central Luzon region.

When completed, the unsubsidized plant will be the country's largest solar facility. “The company is keeping its options open on off-take for the project, which can sell its output into the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market during the sunniest hours, when demand is highest,” the company said in a statement. “This will supplement the Luzon grid’s thin reserves and help prevent the rotating outages that have affected millions of Filipinos over the past weeks.”

The company's unit, Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation, will initially build a 225 MW portion of the plant and will then complete the second phase at a later stage, with no time frame being provided.

The project is part of a 1 GW PV project pipeline that the company announced in December. “These projects are under PPAs and are apart from our projects for the announced auctions, which will still come at a later date,” the company's CEO, Leandro Leviste, told pv magazine at the time. “The capacities among these projects will be disclosed at a later date but we confirm the total for 2021 exceeds 1 GW.”

Several giant solar projects were unveiled in the country in recent months. Three PV projects with capacities of 1.2 GW each were included in a list of solar projects with web-based monitoring systems for energy applications under a program known as The Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) System. In total, 13.2 GW of solar capacity was included on the list by the end of June 2020.

The government of the Philippines is introducing a Green Energy Tariff Program auction regime this year, under which it aims to allocate 2 GW of renewable energy capacity. The country plans to install 15 GW of clean energy by 2030.

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