Cagayan de Oro Electric Power Light Co. Inc. (Cepalco) is planning to put up a 30-megawatt (MW) solar power project in Mindanao, a top company official said.

Cepalco president Ramon Abaya said they will initially build a 10-MW facility and expand this by another 10 MW in the near term.

“We have 40 hectares to host this 20-MW (facility) in the next one and a half years. If there would be a definite feed-in tariff (FIT), we may increase this to 30 MW in the next three years,” Abaya said.

He said they would be doing the first phase of the solar project on their own.

For the larger capacity, they may tap partners in the succeeding phases.

Abaya pointed out they are not in talks with potential partners negotiations will not be sealed until the final FIT is determined.

FIT is prescribed under the Renewable Energy Act which gives guaranteed revenue for renewable energy developers based on the technology they would use. Base on initial discussions among the industry players, Abaya said the FIT would likely be at the range of P19 to P10 per kilowatthour but said this cost may go down once more players come in.

“We hope to bring down the costs. We will bid out the contracts so we will have an option to get the most competitive price,” he said.

Abaya said they are in the process of bidding out the first phase of their solar project in Cagayan de Oro.

“There are more than 10 that have submitted their bids. But we have shortlisted three.

All are German integrators,” he said. The solar panels, he said, would be sourced in Taiwan and China which offer competitive prices.

He said if the FIT is in place, they would be able to construct the solar project within six months.

article by Donnabelle Gatdula of The Philippine Star

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