Construction has begun at the largest solar power project in Philippines, and perhaps south-east Asia.
Solar Philippines recently announced that it began construction at 150 megawatts solar PV project at Concepcion. The project will consist of nearly half a million solar panels spread across 150 hectares. The project shall use locally manufactured solar panels and will also use batteries to supply electricity round-the-clock.
Leandro Leviste, Solar Philippines president and chief executive, said that this will be the first solar power project in Philippines which will be built at a cost lower than that of a coal-based power plant. Developers of the project want to prove that the cost of solar power generation has already decline to levels where it can be used to meet base load.
The Concepcion solar power project will initially sell electricity in the open market while continuing to negotiate with utilities for a long-term power purchase agreement. Solar Philippines is also working on a 50 megawatts solar power project which will sell electricity to Manila Electric Co. through a long-term agreement.
Over the last few months several project developers have expressed interest in setting up large-scale solar power project in Philippines. After the Renewable Energy Law was approved in 2008 a surge in renewable energy capacity addition was seen in the Philippines. The government had announced a feed-in tariff scheme wherein projects were offered ¢0.21 per kWh. The tariff scheme attracted overwhelming response from project developers, forcing the government to expand the capacity under the program from 50 megawatt to 500 megawatt.