Citicore starts agro-solar initiative in Tarlac facility

Published June 8, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Renewable energy developer Citicore Power Inc. (Citicore) has started an agro-solar initiative in its Tarlac facility, a move that aims to promote food production within the company’s solar farms.

In a recent plant tour and harvest festival sponsored by Citicore at its Tarlac 2 solar farm, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the local government of Tarlac City expressed strong support for the proliferation of agro-solar models across the country, similar to Citicore’s Agro-Solar Project.

During the plant tour, participants experienced first-hand a solar plant in operation, while having an opportunity to harvest turmeric, grown directly beneath the solar panels.

“Citicore’s goal for pioneering this initiative is to ensure that farmers are not displaced by the race for renewable energy, but rather be nurtured and supported, as they remain integral to the country’s economic growth and development,” said Oliver Tan, president of Citicore.

“We want to strike a balance between industrialization, environmental protection, and agricultural advancement,” he added. 
With downstream linkage to crop production, Citicore’s agro-solar model becomes very attractive to institutions heavily engaged in financing agro-industrial activities and promoting countryside development.

“Our main driving force in DBP is to give hope to our food providers, that’s why we partnered very closely with DA to provide financial support to our farmers and help them become drivers of progress in rural areas,” DBP president Emmanuel Herbosa said, seconding the DA’s vision in helping farmers improve their livelihood.

DBP is the country’s largest development bank and primarily mandated to cater to the needs of agricultural and industrial enterprises.

It also offers several programs, like the agroforestry plantation program that provides credit assistance for the development, expansion, harvesting, processing, maintenance and protection of industrial forest-based plantations in qualified areas.

“Our focus areas for financing are aligned with the objectives of Citicore’s Agro-Solar Project, especially in terms of support for small and medium enterprises, which our farmers can represent, and nurturing the environment, which Citicore very well embodies,” Herbosa said.

The bank focuses on four major areas of financing —infrastructure and logistics, social services, small and medium enterprises, and the environment.

On the other hand, Citicore is committed to harness clean and renewable energy sources to help the country achieve net-zero carbon emission in the future.

The Citicore project is a proof of concept that agriculture, solar power generation, and social development can go hand-in-hand towards food, energy, and economic security.

Citicore Power, Inc. is a pure renewable energy company committed to helping the country achieve a healthy energy mix from solar, hydro and biomass platforms.