Solar PH setting up 10K hectares of Solar Energy Zones

Published October 4, 2021, 4:00 PM

by Jonathan Castillo

SP Solar Ranch

Solar Philippines has announced the establishment of a new business, Solar Energy Zones, Inc. (SEZ), which will be independent from the group’s power plant business and cater to the demand for solar project sites of other power companies. The company is currently finalizing agreements for 10,000 hectares, mostly near its existing projects in Batangas, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija.

“Our aim is no longer to compete with the country’s power companies, but to enable them to build projects, to ensure that solar soon becomes the largest source of new energy in the Philippines,” said Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste.

“The problem we need to solve is that, despite there now being significant demand for new solar plants, there is a scarcity of sites. Our SEZ’s will make it easy for any of these power companies that decide to build solar to locate in these zones and start construction that same year,” Leviste noted.

“This would not be possible had we not begun the development of these sites six years ago, when others did not believe that large-scale solar would be viable. Now the power industry is convinced that it is, we are making available these sites to help others enter the market,” Leviste added.

The company’s SEZ’s are inspired by the solar parks of India, where companies co-locate solar projects in large shovel-ready sites with common facilities that benefit from economies of scale. This model is helping India lower solar’s barriers to entry and become one of the world’s fastest-growing solar markets.

Solar Philippines will be announcing over the coming months several projects of other power companies to be constructed in its zones over the next five years. The capacity of these will be multiple times greater than the country’s total solar capacity to date, making solar a major share of the country’s energy mix.

This is a step towards realizing Leviste’s prediction in an ANC interview last year, that “hopefully not a single one of the country’s power companies will not be a fellow believer in solar energy by [2021].”