UNSPLASH

SOLAR PHILIPPINES Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC) on Wednesday said it is preparing a 1,000-hectare land as it gears up for a joint venture with an unnamed company to expand the capacity of its solar farm beyond 500 megawatts (MW).

“We are preparing an initial 1,000 hectares for a joint venture with a partner who can help turn this plan into a reality,” said Solar Philippines Founder Leandro L. Leviste in a statement.

The company disclosed earlier that the P2.7-billion proceeds from its initial public offering (IPO) will be used for the construction of the initial 50 MW of a planned 500-MW solar power plant and for land acquisition in Nueva Ecija.

SPNEC did not name its supposed partner company, but hinted it is going to be one of the leading energy companies in the country.

“Mr. Leviste has emphasized in previous interviews the view that partnering with the country’s leading companies will be key to accelerate the transition to renewable energy,” the company said.

It added that in 2020, the company shifted its focus on developing greenfield sites and bringing in other companies as partners.

The expansion project eyed will also develop around 60-kilometer transmission line to Bulacan to extend power supply reach to Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan.

“The project’s scale is both its advantage and disadvantage. Unlike 100-MW projects located next to existing transmission, this one will need to be at gigawatt-scale to justify the development of new transmission,” Mr. Leviste said.

“This is a bet on the demand for large-scale solar, and if such demand does come, this project can become larger than all the solar projects to date in the Philippines combined,” he added.

Under the Philippine Energy Plan, the Department of Energy (DoE) has committed renewable energy to account for 35% of the country’s total energy generation by 2030, and 50% by 2040.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella, during the Energy Investment Forum on Dec. 3, said the Philippines needs an additional 92,320 MW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2040 under a clean energy scenario. — Marielle C. Lucenio