Bacolod City Councilor Alex Paglumotan, chairman of the committee on communications and energy, said the City Council is willing to give the proposed 200-megawatt solar power plant on a 140-hectare lot in two barangays a favorable endorsement.

These kinds of investments are being welcomed by Mayor Monico Puentevella, he said.

Paglumotan said he will craft a committee report and submit it to the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Wednesday so they can thresh out certain issues before giving the project a favorable endorsement.

He added they also want to know the economic benefits the project will provide to the city and host barangays.

The Vista Alegre site has been classified for future urban use while the Felisa site will be reclassified to industrial and light industrial zone.

This came after the proponent of the solar power farm projects in Barangays Felisa and Vista Alegre sought the endorsement of the City Council as a requirement of the Department of Energy (DOE).

Maria Celia Monfort, president and CEO of Negros PH Solar Inc., had earlier said they have applied for renewal energy/operating contract with DOE after the Barangay Council of Felisa favorably endorsed the project after a public hearing was conducted in the village.

Monfort, also president and CEO of Asian Solar Options, said they are also investing on a 120-MW solar power plant on an 80-hectare lot in Vista Alegre.

Juwi Philippines Inc., represented by Kai Klingenhagen, is the project partner of Monfort’s companies.

Monfort said their timeline for the implementation stage of the Felisa project is on or before March 2016. They are in the process of securing legal requirements from both local and national agencies Bayan Muna representative Alejandro Deoma said they totally support the solar plant project, but asked Felisa village chief Mona Dia Jardin to ensure that the farm workers who will be dislocated will be given their benefits.

He also asked for the feasibility study and impact of the project on the power rates.

Jardin said the project will employ about 2,000 workers and the Barangay Council assured them that Felisa residents will be given first priority especially the farm workers.