Solar farm starts feeding Visayas grid 132MW of clean power
CADIZ CITY—The largest solar farm in Southeast Asia has been providing an additional 132.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the Visayas grid since February.
Aside from providing clean energy, Helios Solar Energy Corp. is also expected to bring in P45 million in taxes annually to the coffers of the city government, said Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante.
Escalante said the solar farm created 2,000 jobs during construction and would provide at least 250 regular jobs during its operation.
A 200-hectare parcel of land adjacent to the solar farm is being considered as an economic zone site, he said.
Among the factories that could rise in the economic zone is one that would produce solar panels.
“We are talking to a Chinese firm that may manufacture solar panels here to be exported to the rest of the world,” said Escalante.
Helios inaugurated on Thursday its solar generation facility in Barangay Tinampaan, Cadiz City.
According to French Ambassador to the Philippines Thierry Mathou, who was at the inauguration, the Cadiz solar farm is the largest in Southeast Asia and seventh largest in the world.
The solar farm, which was worth close to P10 billion, is made up of 427,392 solar panels.
Gregorio Araneta III, Helios chair, said his company has also invested in a 30-MW solar farm in Ormoc City in Leyte and another one in Ilocos.
Araneta is married to Irene Marcos, youngest daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“We are pleased to launch this ambitious project which underlines our conviction to support the country’s shift to more renewable energy,” said Araneta.
“This project also demonstrates our country’s ability to develop world-class renewable energy projects and establishes the Philippines’ foothold as a front-runner in renewable energy,” he said.
The solar farm was capable of generating electricity enough to power up to 167,526 households.
Its operation could save 177.7 million liters of water and lower carbon emissions by 94,627 tons per year, equivalent to planting 2.4 million trees.
Among those present during the inauguration was Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.
President Aquino, during a climate summit in Paris recently, promised to cut carbon emissions in the Philippines but came under fire for leading the opening of a coal-fueled power plant in Davao City.
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