By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 29, 2016 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – Mindanao’s largest solar facility rises in South Cotabato, providing five megawatts (MW) of solar power to the Minda-nao grid, alleviating the power shortage in the province.
NV Vogt Philippines Solar Energy One Inc. formally opened the first five megawatts of its 10-MW plant in Surallah, South Cotabato last Saturday, Reynaldo Casas said in a phone interview with The STAR.
“It is among the 10 solar facilities eligible to receive incentives under the feed-in tariff scheme, but the only one in Mindanao,” he said.
Under the FIT scheme, solar developers have until March 2016 to complete and produce power from their projects to be eligible to receive the new P8.69 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) FIT rate, among other incentives.
Casas noted the solar facility, which took only 80 days to build, “is an expression of investor appetite in Mindanao.”
The P1.3-billion solar was launched August 2015 to improve South Cotabato’s investment climate and agricultural productivity. The province currently suffers from power shortage due to the reduced dependability of the Agus-Pulangi Hydro Power Plants and more recently, the worsening El Nino phenomenon.
The project, composed of 23,520 solar panels, is a joint initiative of the local government unit of Surallah and the NV Vogt-Philippines Solar Energy One Inc., which is backed by German IB vogt GmbH.
Its major off-taker is South Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Socoteco 1), which will distribute electricity to consumers in General Santos City, eight municipalities in South Cotabato and Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat.
Apart from the Mindanao project, NV Vogt Philippines is also working on two bigger solar projects in Tarlac and is eyeing another one in Pangasinan, Casas said.