World’s largest solar farm to rise in NL

Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation (SPNEC), a unit of Solar Philippines, announced Wednesday its plan to transform its operations in Nueva Ecija and Bulacan into the world’s largest solar farm. If completed, the two facilities will surpass India’s Bhadla Solar Farm, the world’s largest solar farm with over 2.2 gigawatts (GW) capacity.

In a stock report, the company said it would expand its properties to at least 2500 hectares in the two provinces, with a combined capacity of 4 GW.

To date, SPNEC has secured the land for its 500 megawatts (MW) solar project, for which the first 50 MW and the transmission for the total 500 MW are under construction.

According to SPNEC, the scale of the project was enabled by its parent firm Solar Philippines’ land and permits consolidation since 2016 when it applied for its first Department of Energy solar energy service contract in this area.

The clustering of projects in the same area also supports the development of transmission, which would extend over 60 kilometers to connect to the substations of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines that supply power to the Greater Manila Area.

Farm exceeds grid capacity

The planned solar farm, once complete, will also surpass the capacity of the total grid-connected solar operating in the Philippines as of the end of 2021, which was recorded at over 1.3 GW only.

“Over the years, others did not believe these ranchlands far from the grid could be the site for a solar farm. By the end of this year, our planned share issuances should result in the consolidation of ingredients that would enable SPNEC to expand its flagship project to be the world’s largest solar farm,” Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste said in the company’s disclosure.

SPNEC is optimistic about completing its planned Stock Rights Offering (SRO) over the coming weeks, which would pave the way for its asset-for-share swap with its parent company, Solar Philippines.

It previously disclosed that it would consider various options to increase its public float and is currently in discussions with investors for private placements. This is in addition to its SRO, with an offer period from 30 August to 5 September.

Solar Philippines and SPNEC have signed the share swap agreement for issuing 24 billion shares at an issue price of P2.50 per share in exchange for the equity of Solar Philippines in a portfolio of projects.

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