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SEA largest Solar farm opens in Philippines

WITH the inauguration of the 132.5-megawatt (MW) solar power plant at Barangay Tinampaan in Cadiz City on Thursday, March 3, Negros Occidental would no longer be a power beggar, and could even export power to other provinces, provincial officials said.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the P10-billion solar farm situated on a 176-hectare lot in Cadiz will be the largest in Southeast Asia and seventh largest in the world, and is expected to address the power shortage problem in the province.

Marañon said excess power would attract more investors, and that producing “green power” is the best part.

“Negros Occidental now has a huge power production capacity of 280 MW,” the governor said.
Marañon said the province would welcome additional solar power projects as long as these would not be placed on prime agricultural land.

Second district Board Member Salvador Escalante Jr., former mayor of Cadiz, said that before the solar energy plant, the province had been a “power beggar” from Cebu and Panay Island.

Through this solar project, the province would no longer need power from outside sources during day time as it has become self-sufficient, he added.

“Soon, we can meet and even surpass the province’s power requirement of 200 MW through renewable energy sources mainly solar and other ancillary plants like diesel that would complement especially the power demand during night time,” Escalante said.

The solar farm is developed by Soleq Holdings, the solar power arm of Singapore-based Equis Funds group, Asia’s largest independent energy and infrastructure private equity fund manager.

Attending the unveiling rites is French Ambassador to the Philippines Thierry Mathou, who was also in the province last month to grace the blessing, inauguration, and turnover of rehabilitated classrooms at Tiglawigan Elementary School also in Cadiz donated by non-government organizations from France and Monaco.

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