The Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded the contract to SunAsia Energy Inc. and Blueleaf Energy to build and operate the world’s largest floating solar project in the Philippines, which has a cumulative capacity of over 610.5 megawatts (MW). This move is viewed as a milestone in the country’s energy sector, with the DoE issuing the first set of Solar Energy Operating Contracts (SEOCs) for a total of 1.3 gigawatts (GW).
Blue Leaf Energy, a stand-alone portfolio company of Macquarie, in partnership with SunAsia Energy, is jointly developing the large-scale floating solar facility on Laguna Lake, spanning the growing cities of Calamba, Sta. Rosa and Cabuyao, and the towns of Bay and Victoria.
During the contract turnover ceremonies, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla reiterated his commitment to strengthening the renewable energy sector and declared the DoE’s strong support for the commercialization of floating solar facilities as an emerging technology. Additionally, the program echoed the need to accelerate the realization of the country’s decarbonization targets by 2040.
Raghuram Natarajan, CEO of Blueleaf Energy, believes that “the Philippines holds great potential to add significant renewable energy capacity to its energy mix and at the same time deliver green energy at an affordable cost compared to fossil fuels.”
This will “not only contribute to the country’s RE goals but also spark green job growth locally during construction and the long-term operations of these floating solar projects, enable local supply chains through the manufacturing of critical components and bring about notable benefits to the local community,” Mr. Natarajan added.
The SEOC is a testament to the viability of this emerging technology. Tetchi Capellan, president and CEO of SunAsia Energy, noted that “land use is becoming a big issue for renewables.”
“People are worrying about competing uses of land, and in some markets, you might struggle to find land,” Capellan said. “There is a strong incentive to build on water as the Philippines gears up for an ambitious 46 GW solar energy installations in 2040 and at the same time, increase power supply in the country.”
The first 610MW floating solar project “is our collective legacy, our immeasurable contribution to the body of knowledge in the renewable energy space and to the growing solar energy installations worldwide. Once built, we are certain that it will stand as one of the engineering wonders of the world. It will capture the imagination of developers, it will be published in multiple journals, shared in social media, visited by hundreds of practitioners, and studied by academics,” Capellan added.
Since 2019, SunAsia Energy has been operating a testbed on Laguna Lake to study the behavior of waves, the movement of wind, the intensity of the sun, as well as the variability of the temperature in the locality. The wealth of experience has contributed to the growing knowledge of floating solar panels on the lake. Solar-on-water will definitely boost clean power as the world races to cut carbon emissions. Massive solar farms can now be found atop bodies of water in South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, and Portugal.
Developing solar-on-water projects, in the country’s largest lake, will help achieve not only the government’s ambitious decarbonization target but also much-needed power to run industries, light homes, and energize cities. More importantly, it will be a legacy of the Philippines to the global renewable energy space.
In the last two decades, Blueleaf Energy has developed and built almost 2 GW of solar capacity across the globe, including 250 MW in the Philippines. It currently has over 7 GW of solar, wind, and storage project pipelines across the Asia Pacific region.
SunAsia Energy, a developer of sustainable solar energy in the country, has since its inception in 2013 partnered with various entities to develop solar projects including the 60 MWp Toledo solar project in Cebu and the 20 MWp Dagupan solar project in Pangasinan.
About Blueleaf Energy
Blueleaf Energy is a leading Pan Asian Renewable energy platform that develops, finances, owns, and operates renewables and storage assets to accelerate the energy transition towards net zero and beyond.
Committed to upholding the highest environmental, social, governance and safety standards, Blueleaf Energy serves both corporate and industrial consumers and large utilities, providing our customers access to competitive and green energy mix and solutions to achieve their sustainability targets.
Blueleaf Energy has a development pipeline of solar, wind and storage projects in excess of 7 GW, a historical track record of developing and building 2 GW of capacity globally which includes over 500 MW in the Asia Pacific. Blueleaf Energy is a portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), operating on a standalone basis. In the Philippines, Blueleaf Energy is managed by the Macquarie Capital operating group of the Macquarie Group.
SunAsia Energy Inc. is a pioneer renewable energy developer in the Philippines harnessing the power of the sun to provide environmental and business solutions. Founded in 2013 by innovative entrepreneurs from real estate and agriculture, SunAsia Energy continues to deliver megawatts of clean electricity in support of the energy security goals of the country and contribute to global efforts to transition toward a net- zero carbon emission future.