RENEWABLE ENERGY company Blueleaf Energy Philippines said around $1.5 billion (P88.27 billion) will be allocated for the development of its 1,550-megawatt (MW) floating solar portfolio in Laguna by 2026.

“I think we’re looking at an overall investment for these projects of around $1.5 billion,” Blueleaf Energy Philippines Investment Director and Country Head Christopher Rainier O. Chua told reporters on Thursday.

The energy company is working with solar energy company SunAsia Energy, Inc. to develop a 1,300-MW floating solar facility in Laguna Lake.

“[It is] the first large-scale floating solar. We’re putting on our collective hats and efforts to try to optimize the cost. That’s part of our objective. We want to demonstrate the best LCoE (levelized cost of electricity) for this technology,” Mr. Chua said.

Last year, Laguna Lake Development Authority and the companies signed a renewable energy contract area utilization agreement for the 10 blocks of hundred hectares each in Laguna Lake.

The floating solar project is scheduled for construction and operations by 2025 and 2026, respectively. It will span the towns of Cabuyao, Sta. Rosa, Calamba, Victoria, and Bay.

It has been awarded a “green lane” status by the Board of Investments in July 2023. The green lane aims to expedite, streamline, and automate government processes for this kind of investments.

Blueleaf is also building a 250-MW floating solar project in Caliraya and Lumot Lakes in Laguna with NKS Energy Utilities, Inc.

The project is targeted for construction by the fourth quarter and scheduled to come online by the first quarter of 2026.

The floating solar project with NKS is also among the projects awarded green lane.

“Like in any other power project, we’re looking into project financing. So it’s going to be like long-term loans from banks and equity portion of it is something that basically we, as the investor, will be covering,” Mr. Chua said.

Unlike ground-mounted solar, floating solar technologies require less land preparation, and increase photovoltaic efficiency due to the cooling effect of water, the company said.

“With the adoption of floating solar, more land can be allocated for other productive uses. For NKS Solar One, we are utilizing current reservoir such as Caliraya and Lumot man-made lakes which are purposely created for power generation,” Blueleaf Philippines Head of Projects Rafael B. Macabiog said.

Blueleaf is a portfolio company of Australia-based Macquarie Capital “operating on a stand-alone basis.” It specializes on onshore renewable energy business that develops and operates utility-scale solar projects. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera