Local renewable energy firm SunAsia Energy has started the construction of the largest solar farm in Cebu province.The company said in a statement the power project that would rise in Toledo City costs $120 million and will have a capacity of 60 megawatts (MW).It is targeted for completion by February 2016.The plant would use about 200,000 high-grade solar panels manufactured according to European standards, occupying approximately 70 hectares of land while the surrounding areas would be maintained as farm lands.
“Baltao Farms is presently home to a number of cattle, carabao, goats and chicken. As planned and designed, the present land use will be preserved for livestock production and only a fraction of the area in the farms will contain panels and infrastructure,” said SunAsia president and former Agriculture Undersecretary Tetchi Capellan.She said the solar modules would be arranged in 5,000 arrays spread in the 70-hectare property, which would be raised off the ground to allow small animals to graze the area.
“Grass will be grown under and in between the solar arrays, thereby preserving the feedstock production for consumption by the animals,” she said.To harmonize agribusiness with solar PV plant operations, SunAsia tapped its global engineering partners from Germany.Based on the system impact study report prepared by Power Systems Research and Consultancy Group (PSRCG), the 60-MW solar plant is expected to generate 861,199 megawatt-hours annually.It would also reduce about 38,936 tons of carbon emissions annually or 1.72 million metric tons in two years.
“This reduction in carbon emissions coming from solar energy power plants will help mitigate climate change. There are several fossil fuel-based power plants in the province of Cebu and the presence of Toledo solar project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the area,” Capellan said.She added this is equivalent to about 2,156 trees planted per year or 1,557,440 trees for 20 years.