Solar Philippines seeks to contract its 10-GW projects

SOLAR Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. has offered its proposed 10 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy development to off-takers or buyers, its listed unit said on Monday.

In a disclosure, Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC) said its parent firm’s submitted offers “to substantially contract” are awaiting the approval of would-be off-takers and regulators.

“If approved, Solar Philippines would potentially have 9 terawatt-hours per year of contracted energy, which would serve as a critical mass of demand enabling 10 GW of developments scheduled to commence operations mostly between 2025 to 2026,” SPNEC said.

The listed company said that aside from its planned 500-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Nueva Ecija, the renewable energy projects are held by companies with shares subject to the asset-for-share swap between SPNEC and Solar Philippines.

The largest of the developments is Terra Solar Philippines, Inc., a joint venture with Razon-led Prime Infrastructure Holdings, Inc. (Prime Infra) that plans to construct 3.5 GW of solar and 4.5 GW-hours of battery storage.

Prime Infra earlier this month described the project as the world’s largest solar project. The solar farm will supply 850 MW to Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. “on a firm basis like a conventional mid-merit power plant.”

The other entities include Solar Philippines Batangas Baseload Corp., which is developing an up to 2-GW solar project with battery storage; Solar Philippines Central Luzon Corp., a joint venture with AC Energy Corp.; Solar Philippines South Luzon Corp.; and Solar Philippines Visayas Corp.

SPNEC said these are among the Solar Philippines entities in the published list of qualified bidders for the 2,000 MW (2 GW) offered by the Department of Energy (DoE) under the government’s Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP).

The DoE is set to post the GEAP’s notice of award on or before June 24, 2022.

Solar Philippines’ earlier projects include the 63 MW operating under Solar Philippines Calatagan Corp., a joint venture with Korea Electric Power Corp.; and the 100 MW operating plus expansions under Solar Philippines Tarlac Corp. and Solar Philippines Tanauan Corp., which are also joint ventures with Prime Infra and with Meralco power supply agreements.

“Altogether, SPNEC aims to complete the development of 10 GW of solar projects by 2025, which would help address the country’s potential power shortage, and represent a significant increase from the country’s grid-connected solar capacity of 1,127.3 MW as of December 2021,” it said, citing DoE figures.

“While we have been constrained from commenting on our projects due to ongoing contracting processes, we look forward to share more details in the coming days, and so give a better picture of what SPNEC will look like after the asset-for-share swap,” said Leandro Antonio L. Leviste, Solar Philippines founder.

FIRST AUCTION ROUND OF GEAPSeparately, the DoE said on Monday that it had conducted the first auction round of the GEAP on June 17. A total of 24 qualified bidders participated in the auction.

“Of the 24 bidders, eight were from solar, another eight were from wind, seven were from run-of-river hydro, and one was from biomass,” it said.

The competitive process will set the benchmark for future auction rounds, as the resulting green energy tariff will reflect the value of electricity, the department said.

DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi described the auction as “a significant step in encouraging more power generation investments in renewable energy, while protecting the interest of Filipino consumers — a testament to the country’s commitment to developing indigenous and clean sources of energy at competitive prices.” — Victor V. Saulon

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