Solar Philippines, Citicore Power roll out 250-MW joint venture

Citicore Power and Solar Philippines on Wednesday (May 20) formally sealed their joint-venture to put up at least a 250-megawatt (MW) solar power facility in 2016.

Leandro Leviste, Solar Philippines chief executive officer (CEO), said the 50-50 partnership will unlock synergies between the two companies to build the largest solar portfolio in Southeast Asia.

The partnership, Leviste added, has started with its first project–the 60-MW solar facility in Calatagan, Batangas, where construction has begun and is expected to be completed in November this year.

“Once operational, the plant will supply enough to power the entire Western Batangas, and become the largest solar farm in Luzon,” he said during the signing ceremony.

During over three decades of operation, it is expected to offset over one million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to planting over five million trees.

The venture, Leviste said, will be allocating $600 million as capital expenditure (capex) for the 250-MW solar project to be put up in Luzon and Mindanao starting next year.

Both parties will invest equally in each project, and leverage their expertise in construction to complete the projects in time to avail of Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), an incentive for the first 500 MW in solar projects to connect to the national grid.

“In a few years’ time, solar will become cheaper than fossil fuel, and one day supply the majority of this country’s energy needs,” Leviste said.

Citicore Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of Citicore Holdings Investment Inc., a sister company of Megawide Construction Corp.

It was incorporated to invest in renewable energy, including solar, hydro and biomass, as part of its sustainable development program and portfolio diversification objectives.

“We are proud to partner with a company that shares this long-term perspective, and has made it a priority to turn this vision into a reality,” Leviste said.

Michael Cosiquien, Megawide CEO, said the venture marks their first entry into power generation.

“We believe solar has massive potential for growth, and this is just the first of many investments we will make in clean, renewable energy,” Cosiquien added.

Leviste said this is the first time an entirely Filipino partnership is investing in solar projects.

He added that the projects will create 10,000 construction jobs, alleviate the power shortage and displace polluting fossil fuels.

By the end of 2015, the total solar capacity in the Philippines is expected to reach 500 MW, up from 50 MW in 2014, and 5 MW in 2013.

Solar Philippines is the country’s largest solar provider, and the first to fully integrate development, investment, engineering and construction.

With a 125-person team from the solar, construction and power industries, the company is growing fast to meet the need for clean and affordable energy.

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