Monday, July 24, 2017

Solar Philippines eyes supply contracts with Taiwanese, Chinese companies

Posted on July 21, 2017

SOLAR PHILIPPINES Power Project Holdings, Inc. is planning to expand overseas with contracts to deliver solar panels to Taiwanese and Chinese companies, its president said.

In a statement on Thursday, Solar Philippines President Leandro L. Leviste, said “around half of our planned projects for 2018 will be outside the Philippines, in countries where utilities and regulators may be more progressive about solar power, showing that the Philippines truly needs to synchronize with the world in terms of embracing solar over coal.”

On Wednesday night, he told reporters the company’s factory at the First Philippine Industrial Park in Sto. Tomas, Batangas has a capacity to produce solar panels to supply 200 megawatts (MW).

He said the plan is to ramp up production to reach a capacity of 800-MW within the year.

“Eventually we’re gonna build many, many more factories for local and for foreign [customers] because the Philippines is competitive,” he said, citing labor as the largest component in the modular assembly.

“Filipinos are not just competitive in cost but also very productive compared to other Southeast Asians,” he added.

Mr. Leviste said the company is expected to complete what he called the first large-scale solar battery projects in Asia in the coming months.

The Solar Philippines executive also noted the company is scheduled to inaugurate solar rooftops and microgrids within the year, which would show how consumers can save around 30% on electricity at zero cost.

Earlier this month, Mr. Leviste offered to replace all planned coal-fired power plants with solar farms equipped with battery storage in a move that it expects to significantly cut electricity rates.

His 5,000 megawatt (MW) solar plan includes details on the target sites of the solar farms, integration of batteries for grid reliability, and the cost of batteries and panels from Solar Philippines’ factory in Batangas, which is now operating.

Mr. Leviste said his company had submitted to the country’s electric utilities a plan to reduce power rates by 30% through his proposed solar-for-coal swap.

Solar Philippines is awaiting approval of a power supply agreement with a distribution utility for P5.39 per kWh. This compares with the current rate of P8.17 per kWh in Metro Manila from a mix of generation sources.

On Thursday, Mr. Leviste said the company would pursue the replacement plan “with or without the utilities, via the RCOA (retail competition and open access) and behind-the-meter markets, and for which increasing public awareness is essential to give consumers the power to choose electricity 30% cheaper than the status quo.”

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