It is possible: Solar Power in the Philippines

Asia’s largest solar power plant outside China moved closer to reality last Monday.

Signing of a Public Private Partnership Agreement by the Islamic City of Marawi with a US-based integrator at the Marawi City Hall brought the Philippines nearer to clean energy sources.

The PPP agreement was signed by Mayor Fahad Panarigan Umpar Salic in behalf of the Islamic City of Marawi (ICOM) and Lim Solar Philippines by Winston Mendoza, chairman and CEO. The project will be implemented as an economic enterprise undertaking of the LGU of Marawi in partnership with Lim Solar Philippines, an integrator of solar PV power plants with headquarters in California, U.S.A.

The signing of the PPP agreement will kick off the implementation of the Marawi City Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Park with the construction of the PHP 700-million initial five (5) megawatt (MW) solar PV power plant at Barangay Malimono.

The 5-MW solar PV project will be followed by the construction of an additional thirty (30) MW of solar PV power plants costing some PHP 4-billion. This will give the ICOM Solar PV Power Park a total output of 35MW costing some PHP 4.7-billion.

Construction will start on April 2014, and the entire 35MW capacity should be commissioned and commercial operations started within the first half of 2015.

The ICOM Solar PV Power Park will provide an income to the Marawi LGU of around PhP50-million per year for 20 years which would supplement the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) the ICOM is receiving from the national government.

More important, the ICOM Solar PV Power Park would provide the entire energy requirement of electricity consumers in Marawi City, now being supplied by the PSALM-NPC. The 35MW generated by the solar PV plants would displace all generation now coming from PSALM-NPC plants.

Since the project would be entitled to receive Feed-In Tariff (FIT) payments from the national government under the Renewable Energy Law, consumers in Marawi City will be exempted from paying the purchased power component of their monthly power bills that the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO) is collecting at present in behalf of PSALM.

This translates to a reduction in the electricity rate of Marawi consumers from the present PHP 6.00++ per kilowatt hour (kWh) to only PHP 3.00/kWh. Upon the full commercial operation of the 35MW solar PV power plants, the people of Marawi City will be paying the lowest electric rates in the entire Philippines.

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