Capitol signs deal to build 150-MW solar farm

SolarFile Photo

TWENTY-FOUR lot owners in the northern town of Daanbantayan, Cebu have agreed to sell their properties to the Cebu Provincial Government for the construction of a 150-megawatt (MW) solar power plant.

But 26 other lot owners are still undecided.

In an interview after the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the proponent for the building of the plant, at the Capitol building on Saturday, March 16, 2024, Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura told SunStar Cebu that they explained to the lot owners that the project seeks to lower electric bills in the province.

Shimura said the Provincial Government is buying the properties for P130 per square meter. He said some owners own more than two lots.


He said the governor also assured those who agree to sell that they will be exempted from paying tax, including the capital gains, transfer and documentary stamp tax.

And if they want to work in the facility once it opens, they will be prioritized in the hiring, he added.

Shimura said there was a plan to transfer the location of the proposed solar power plant to the third district, so the municipality, which is in the fourth district, exerted efforts to convince the lot owners to sell their properties.

He said once completed, the facility will spur economic development not only in the town but also in neighboring municipalities and in Bogo City, where an economic zone has been proposed.

The mayor admitted that there are a lot of owners who are hesitant to sell, which may prompt them to resort to expropriation proceedings.

On Saturday, the Provincial Government signed the MOA with Consortium Acciona Energia Global and Freya Renewables Inc. for a 25-year build-transfer-operate scheme for the project.

The Spain-based Acciona Energia Global and Makati-based Freya Renewables Inc. will build the solar power plant, which will be one of the largest renewable energy facilities in the country, on a 185-hectare lot in Barangay Talisay.

The MOA signing was led by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III, Ignacio Domecq of Acciona Energia Global Ltd. and Fermin Alvarez of Freya Renewables Inc.

It was witnessed by Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, among others.

Acciona Energia Global was also involved in the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, the longest bridge in the Philippines spanning 8.9 kilometers.

Secretary’s message

As of the moment, Shimura told SunStar Cebu, he has no information on the schedule of the civil works, adding that their involvement in the project was in the issuance of permits and talking to lot owners.

Secretary Lotilla, in his speech on Saturday, said the MOA advanced the efforts of the Marcos Jr. administration to increase the country’s renewable energy portfolio.

He pointed out that Cebu is the center of the transmission grid of the country, connecting the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids.

He said the solar power plant in Daanbantayan is a step forward for Cebu to be no longer reliant on power generation facilities from another region in case there are problems in the power cable grid.

In her speech, Governor Garcia stressed the importance of the Capitol’s involvement in the energy sector to lower the price of electricity, which was why she signed the MOA with the two energy firms.

She said the date of the MOA signing coincided with the arrival of the Spaniards in the archipelago 500 years ago, but his time as investors, not conquerors.

The governor added that civil works will take only a year and a half.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, March 14, Vice Governor Davide said the Provincial Board authorized Garcia to sign the contract on Monday, March 11.

Although there was no mention of the project’s total cost, Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said in 2017 that the cost to put up a solar plant was equivalent to US$1 million per MW. (EHP)


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