LOCAL POWER distribution and generation firm Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co. Inc. plans to invest P2.24 billion in four solar power facilities in Misamis Oriental.

Data from the Department of Energy showed that Cepalco targets to build four solar facilities with a capacity of 5 megawatts each, in Kirahon, Villanueva.

Each facility is expected to cost P560 million.

Based on the timeline given by Cepalco to the DOE, it targets to put up one solar power plant every five years beginning 2015 until 2030. These projects have been listed as “indicative” by the DOE, which means the applicant company has yet to complete the necessary permits/clearances and financial closing.

Cepalco currently owns and operates the sole 1-MW solar plant in Cagayan de Oro.

The facility started its commercial operations in September 2004 after securing its first certificate of compliance from the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The plant is connected to the existing distribution lines of Cepalco with an annual energy generation capacity of 1.3 million kilowatt-hours.

According to the ERC, the photovoltaic plant displaces barrels of fuel oil and avoids around 24,000 tons of carbon compound emission into the environment.

Cepalco operates the photovoltaic plant in conjunction with its 7-MW Bubunawan hydropower facility, thus enabling the joint PV/hydro resource to effectively reduce system demand.

The photovoltaic plant is deemed to be the first of its kind in the world because it is designed for conjunctive use with the 7-MW hydro plant.

With the aggregate installed capacity of 26,850 KW, Cepalco provides 1.55 percent of the maximum carrying capability of the Mindanao grid and only 0.19 percent of the national grid.

Cepalco’s solar facility, which sits on a two-hectare lot, is a “fuel-less” electric generating plant that uses sunlight to generate electricity.

article by Amy R. Remo of Philippine Daily Inquirer

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