Aboitiz solar power unit expands to Mindanao

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DAVAO CITY — Aboitiz Power Distributed Energy, Inc. (APX), the newly formed rooftop solar power unit of Aboitiz Power Corp. (AboitizPower), is ready to enter the Mindanao market after starting out in Luzon and the Visayas in April this year.

Jose Rafael R. Mendoza, APX general manager, said the market is ready for renewable energy options as well as the opportunity to have direct power source alternatives that are independent from distributors.

“There is an increased awareness in environmental issues [like] climate change,” said Mr. Mendoza last week in a presentation during the Mindanao Business Conference in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

He also said APX’s solar rooftop solutions would help consumers in Mindanao reduce power demand from distributors, majority of which are electric cooperatives.

Another AboitizPower subsidiary, Davao Light and Power Co., is a distributor in Davao City and parts of neighboring Davao del Norte province.

Mr. Mendoza added that the new source is “part of our (AboitizPower) commitment to balance our energy mix.”

The Aboitiz group currently has a capacity of about 3,000 megawatts (MW) nationwide, including 1,272 MW of net sellable capacity under the Cleanergy brand.

It is expected to increase its renewable energy portfolio later this year with the operations of Hedcor, Inc.’s 68.8-MW plant in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Meanwhile, Romeo M. Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) deputy executive director, said the entry of APX in the southern islands “will provide another renewable source for people who want to help rehabilitate the environment.”

“This is a welcome initiative because those who want to install solar panels will now have another source for it,” he said on Monday.

Mr. Montenegro, who is also the MinDA point person for the power sector, noted that he had been pushing for the continued development of green energy sources for Mindanao as the balance had been tilting in favor of fossil fuel following the opening of several coal-fired plants in recent years. — Carmelito Q. Francisco