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Clark firm fires up P1.9-b solar plant

CLARK Freeport, Pampanga—The joint venture of three energy companies have completed and started exporting power to the Luzon grid from its 22.325-megawatt solar power facility here, joining the bandwagon in the race for the feed-in tariff eligibility.

Mabalacat Solar Philippines, Sindicatum Renewable Energy Co. and Amstrong Asset Management built the solar power plant on a 25-hectare land leased from  Clark Development Corp. It is the first renewable energy project built within the free port area.

Mabalacat Solar is headed by chairman Jose Leviste Jr.

Sindicatum president and chief executive Robert Driscoll said the power plant was funded from pure equity with project cost estimated at $40 million (P1.9 billion).

“This one is FIT [feed-in tariff] supported. We have not received the certificate of endorsement at this point, but we have met all the requirements. So we will be talking to DoE next week and I fully expect this will make it to the second round of FIT,” Driscoll said.

He said the company started exporting power to the grid in the last two days and was waiting certification from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

“The documents required have been submitted to the DoE. Monday, we will have three days of full generation data, which will be certified by the NGCP. We will deliver it to the DoE on Monday and we’ll talk about the timing of the COE [certificate of eligibility] of the project. Then, the ERC will issue the final COE,” Driscoll said.

He said the company planned to put up another 20-MW to 25-MW solar power plant at the Clark Green City. The construction would depend on the third round of installation target for solar, he added.

“We signed the lease, doing the design work, going through all the permitting. We would start construction later this year,” he said.

He said the Clark Green City solar project was expected to cost lower than the recently-completed plant.

“Partly due to economies of scale, the solar power prices are coming down. We’ll be able to manage some other costs and development cost will be lower,” Driscoll said.

The Clark Green City is envisioned to be the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis. It is located inside the Clark Special Economic Zone.

Bases Conversion Development Authority president Arnel Casanova, who graced the event, said Clark Green City wouldshowcase the country’s capability to build a sustainable and modern city.

“The city will adopt smart and green features like compact walkable communities with generous open spaces, mass transportation, remotely-managed utilities, high-bandwidth connectivity, protected biodiversity, energy efficiency and urban farming, among others, making it one of the country’s most liveable cities of the future,” he said. With Othel V. Campos

Topics: CLARK Freeport , Mabalacat Solar Philippines , Sindicatum Renewable Energy Co. , Amstrong Asset Management , solar power plant
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