Conergy clinches deal for 2 Negros solar plants

Posted on October 16, 2015

GERMANY’S Conergy AG has closed a deal with a Visayan joint venture to build two new solar power plants in La Carlota and Manapla in Negros Occidental.

Alexander Lenz, president of Conergy’s Asia and Middle East unit, said during a media briefing yesterday that the added capacity of the two power plants would be sufficient to provide power to over 171,300 homes by 2016.

The contracts with Negros Island Solar Power Inc., or islaSol, brings Conergy’s installed capacity in the Philippines to 201 megawatts-peak (MWp), the maximum output of its photovoltaic power plants.

The combined 62 MWp capacity for islaSol comes in addition to the six other solar projects Conergy has closed previously, including 50 MWp in Tarlac, 13 MWp in Pampanga, 18 MWp in Bais, Negros, 15 MWp in Bulacan and 43 MWp at two locations in Luzon and the Visayas.

Negros Occidental’s islaSol is a joint venture between the Philippine Investment Alliance for Insfrastructure, a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure Management (Asia) Pty Ltd., and Bronzeoak Philippines, which develops and implements renewable energy projects.

Mr. Lenz said the expansion was important in driving solar energy’s role in coping with expectations of rising energy demand.

"With our international presence and extensive solar capabilities, customers like islaSol are able to leverage on our global resources and benefit from out economies of scale," he said.

The two new solar power projects are expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year. The first of the two new sites, in La Carlota, will have an installed capacity of 14 MWp, an extension of an 18-MWp solar power plant Conergy is currently building in the area. The company expects the new site to produce 20,631 megawatt hours of clean electricity and save 12,646 tons of carbon emissions. The plants, which spans 204,553 square meters, will generate capacity to power around 8,600 homes, the company said.

The site in Manapla will have an installed capacity of 48 MWp. The plant is located in a 634,514-square meter property and will generate 73,864 megawatt hours per year, equivalent to powering 30,777 households annually, based on company estimates. Conergy placed the plant to cut the country’s carbon footprint at 45,279 tons of carbon emissions.

Conergy’s completed solar power projects in the Philippines make the country fifth-largest among the 16 countries where it has exposure. But unlike number three Thailand where growth in capacity has stalled, solar power output in the Philippines has increased significantly, Mr. Lenz said. In Conergy’s list, the Philippines is next only to the United Kingdom, Germany, Thailand and the combined United States and Canada.

Mr. Lenz said there is scope for growth in solar power in the Philippines as 10% of its population still has no access to electricity.

In a statement, islaSol President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta said: "Our partnership with Conergy has contributed to the successful implementation of our solar projects and we are delighted to have them on board to continue the quality design and engineering for islaSol."

In Southeast Asia, Conergy has also closed new contracts in Thailand and Indonesia to bring its additional capacity in the region to 231 MWp in the past three months alone. -- Victor V. Saulon