SUNASIA Energy, Inc. and Blueleaf Energy Asia Pte. Ltd., have obtained six solar energy operating contracts from the Department of Energy (DoE) for floating solar projects with a combined capacity of 610.5 megawatts (MW).

“Land use is becoming a big issue for renewables. People are worrying about competing uses of land, and in some markets, you might struggle to find land. So, there is a strong incentive to build on water as the Philippines gears up for an ambitious solar energy installation in 2040,” Theresa C. Capellan, president of SunAsia Energy, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The DoE said these facilities will be installed on Laguna de Bay.

Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said the contract awards bring forward the government’s goal of developing indigenous and renewable energy sources.

“It also represents an additional strategic investment and a firm commitment to strengthen the renewable energy sector, especially the commercialization of floating solar as an emerging technology,” Mr. Lotilla said.

Raghuram Natarajan, chief executive officer of Blueleaf Energy, said floating solar facilities have the potential to generate 1.3 gigawatts, involving investment of between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion.

“We will be coming back for four more service contracts which will be issued very quickly,” he said.

To date, a total of 237 solar energy contracts with an aggregate capacity of 1,282 MW and potential capacity of 21,452 MW have been awarded by the DoE. — Ashley Erika O. Jose