Aboitiz Power Corp., the largest owner and operator of renewable energy projects in the Philippines, has ruled out floating solar power investments in Laguna de Bay.
“I am already expecting that there would be (problems) in Laguna de Bay so we did not even consider it as an area where we would apply service contracts for. You’d be competing with fish pens, I think. We didn’t even investigate. We have our reservoirs in Magat, Ambuklao and Binga anyway. So, let’s focus on those,” said AboitizPower President Emmanuel Rubio.
Earlier, SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) Group Vice President Jason Soberano cited water rights as one of the challenges in putting up floating solar projects. The government owns most of the country’s water surfaces.
SNAP is a joint venture between AboitizPower and Norwegian firm Scatec (previously SN Power).
SNAP is proceeding with the expansion of its pilot 200-kilowatt (kW) floating solar power project over the Magat reservoir in Isabela province. The expansion plan involves the construction of at least 67-megawatt (MW) floating solar power project also on the Magat reservoir.
“The existing project is just a pilot. It is small, close to 300kW actually. It’s one pod. What we are going to do is just multiply the pods. It’s not going to be launched, but we are going to start the feasibility study in order to prepare for the tender process.
But what we have proven is that this technology, a solar film that floats on water, without a gap between the film and water. It’s a Norwegian technology and we are ready to execute that project within six months. It can withstand typhoons that pass through Isabela. We tested it with one, or at least two; it worked,” said Rubio.
SNAP earlier switched on its first 200 kilowatt floating solar project over the Magat reservoir in Isabela. This was the first non-hydro renewable energy project of SNAP, which was looking at other renewables and complementary technologies to expand its portfolio.
The 200kW floating solar project, which costs around P24 million, is made up of 720 solar panels held in place by four mooring systems over the reservoir in Isabela.
SNAP also owns and operates the 388-MW Magat hydro on the borders of Isabela and Ifugao, the 8.5-MW Maris hydro in Isabela, the 105-MW Ambuklao hydro in Benguet, and the 140-MW Binga hydro also in Benguet.