ABOITIZ Power Corp. said it would immediately begin the construction of a 94-megawatt (MW) peak solar project in Pangasinan after a virtual groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday.

In a media release, the listed energy holding firm said the P4.5-billion project is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter this year and will be built on a 196-hectare land in Brgy. Cayanga.

The project will be the firm’s second solar plant after its 59-MW peak facility in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

In December, AboitizPower, through its subsidiary Aboitiz Renewables, Inc. (ARI) awarded the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction contract to JGC Philippines, Inc.

“Cayanga Solar is a very significant project for us at ARI. This marks the beginning of our exciting journey ahead — growing our renewable energy portfolio over the next 10 years to accelerate the Philippine energy transition to more environmentally sustainable sources,” ARI Executive Director David J. Smith said.

Meanwhile, Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino III described the project as the province’s milestone for a brighter future.

“This starts our tie-up to provide safe and renewable electric power to our people while protecting the environment for the next generations to enjoy,” he said.

The solar plant will be largely contracted for retail electricity supply. Once completed, it is expected to generate 147 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy yearly, which is equivalent to the yearly power usage of 60,000 households.

“AboitizPower is also looking to develop other renewable energy projects in the region, particularly wind and solar,” the company said.

The power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services company of the Aboitiz group projected a P190-billion investment for clean energy as it targets expanding this capacity to 4,600 MW, or half of its targeted 9,200-MW total generation capacity by 2030.

AboitizPower shares at the local bourse dropped P1.60 or 4.44% to close at P34.40 apiece on Thursday. — Marielle C. Lucenio