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Solar Philippines opens 150-MW plant in Tarlac

Renewable energy developer Solar Philippines said over the weekend its 150-megawatt Tarlac solar power project started supplying the Luzon grid.

Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said in a statement over the weekend  the Tarlac solar farm at full capacity of 150 MW could help address the Luzon grid’s power shortage, which in recent days ranged from 100 to 200 MW. 

Leviste said the additional supply meant averting rotating blackouts for up to 500,000 households, bigger than the entire residential demand of Tarlac.

“We are inspired to think that our actions are making a tangible difference for the Philippines, and will intensify our efforts to bring low-cost solar energy to every Filipino,” said Leviste.

Unscheduled and forced shutdowns of power plants have resulted in rotating blackouts and red and yellow alerts this month. These plant outages are also expected to push up electricity rates.

Solar Philippines’ Tarlac solar project is currently the largest generation facility of its kind in the country.

The project has an approved power supply agreement with Manila Electric Co. at  P2.9999 per kilowatt-hour, making it the lowest cost plant in the Philippines and the lowest in Southeast Asia. 

Leviste said the entry of lower priced solar was timely and appropriate. Wholesale Electricity Spot Market prices typically go up and exceed P7 per kWh during the dry months. WESM is the country’s trading floor of electricity, where prices go up when demand is high and the supply is tight.

To keep costs low, the Tarlac project uses panels manufactured at Solar Philippines’ Batangas facility, the first Filipino factory.

Leviste earlier said the solar project would be “the first in the Philippines at a lower cost than coal, the first with battery storage for 24-hour power, and the first to demonstrate that renewable energy as mid-merit and even base load.”

Topics: Solar Philippines , Renewable energy , Tarlac
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