Pres. Aquino inaugurates largest solar farm in Luzon

Photo Credit: Robert Viñas/Malacañang Photo Bureau
  • President Benigno Aquino III inaugurated the largest solar plant in Luzon
  • The 63.3 megawatt Calatagan Solar Farm can generate power enough to provide electricity to 100,000 households
  • The solar farm was built by Solar Philippines led by its 22-year-old CEO Leandro Leviste

President Benigno Aquino III led the inauguration of the 63.3 megawatt Calatagan Solar Farm in Batangas on Wednesday, March 16.

Business World Online said in an article it published on March 16, 2016 that the P5.7-billion solar farm that sits on a 160-hectare property was developed, financed and built by Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. It is the largest solar power plant in Luzon and the second largest solar site in the Philippines. The 132-megawatt Cadiz solar plant in Negros Occidental is the biggest in the country.

Using over 200,000 solar panels, the solar farm can generate power enough to provide electricity to at least 100, 000 households.

Leandro Leviste, the 22-year-old CEO of Solar Philippines, said the country has crossed the point of no return in its shift away from fossil fuel because of the visionary leadership of President Aquino.

Leviste noted that before President Aquino assumed office, the Philippines only had less than two megawatts installed solar capacity. But as a result of the Aquino administration’s renewable energy programs, the country has surpassed the 500 megawatt target set by the Department of Energy.

“Because of your programs, Mr. President, the local solar industry has gained economies a scale and has begun to develop efficiencies to decrease the cost of solar power,” he said.

Leviste predicted that solar will become cheaper and more reliable than coal. He said that in a matter of years, majority of the country’s energy needs will come from solar power.

“When that day comes, Mr. President, solar farms will sprout across the country to supply Filipinos with cleaner and cheaper power, decommissioning old fossil fuel burning plants, and we will remember it was under your administration when this all began and all of us here today will be able to look back with nostalgia and tell the story of how pioneering projects like the Calatagan Solar Farm came to be,” he said.