GANDARA, Samar -- A Chinese firm is interested to put up a solar farm in the northern part of Samar province, said Samar first district Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento.

Representatives of the Chinese firm will visit Samar again next week to finalize plans with the local government and local power cooperatives, Sarmiento told reporters on Wednesday, March 15.

“What we can provide them is assistance on facilitating the lease agreement with the land owner and other regulatory (bodies) so they can start their work,” Sarmiento said. “We are hoping that within this year, the company will start their construction.”

The lawmaker declined to name the Chinese firm since negotiations are not yet final. He said the investor is interested to open a 200-megawatt solar farm facility and needs at least 50 hectares of land for its full operation.

The existence of a solar farm in Samar province could help in stabilizing power supply in the province, which is largely dependent on Leyte Island for geothermal power supply.

The presence of a solar farm in Samar could also help in the reduction of power rate, said Sarmiento.

Eastern Visayas has two existing solar farms -- the 30 MW plant in Dolores village in Ormoc City by Singapore-based Soleq and the 50-MW plant in Castilla village in Palo, Leyte by Sulu Electric Power and Light Corp. (PNA)