Saturday, November 3, 2018

Two presidents launch first solar farm in the Philippines, who does it better?



Former president Noynoy Aquino launches solar farm and President Rodrigo Duterte launches floating solar farm. Image combined credit to Google photos
Philippines 1st floating solar farm launched in the province of Rizal

Under the Duterte administration, for the first time in history a floating solar farm in the Philippines was launched on Laguna Lake in the municipality of Baras, Rizal.

Floating solar farms are more technically efficient than ground-mounted projects because the cooling effect of the surrounding water on the panels makes the panels produce more energy.

As an archipelago with bodies of water, the Philippines has a huge potential for floating solar farms.

WINNERGY Holdings Corp. commissioned the first floating solar farm in the Philippines. Image credit to BusinessWorld
A local company behind the project

Winnergy Holdings Corp. a sustainable firm is the one responsible in establishing Philippine's first floating solar farm that intends to supply the province of Rizal with free and clean energy. 

This is a pilot project of Winnergy Holdings Corp. so there are more provinces and part of the Philippines that will also experience the benefit of a floating solar farm. 

According to Winnergy president Janina Bonoan, one of the advantages of floating solar farms over ground-mounted solar farms is that no agricultural or forest lands are utilized and no trees are required to be cut.

“The purpose of undertaking the pilot is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of floating solar technology in the country and, more specifically, on Laguna Lake, Bonoan said.

“The pilot also forms part and paves the way for the development of a much larger and commercially-viable project, also being developed by Winnergy,” she added.

Solar Philippines CEO Leandro Leviste presents a “Duterte Edition” solar panel to President Rodrigo. Image credit to PV Tech
What is the benefit of floating solar energy farm?

Designed to last for 25 years, the 10kWp project utilizes solar panels on top of water to generate enough energy to power.

Compared to traditional solar power facilities, floating farms are “technically more efficient” since no agricultural forest lands are disrupted.

Floating solar technology involves deploying solar PV panels on the surface area of a body of water.

It also reduces water evaporation and the proliferation of algae so marine life can flourish.

The project  has the potential to improve the community, local tourism and the local economy.

The country as an archipelago with inland and offshore bodies of water has a huge potential in establishing floating solar farms. 

The technology has been deployed in many other countries, such as in Japan, China, and the United States.

Former President Noynoy Aquino inaugurates Calatagan solar farm. Image credit to When In Manila
Aquino administration inaugurates Batangas solar farm

Not only during the Duterte administration, solar farm was launch. On March 2016, former President Noynoy Aquino inaugurated Calatagan Solar Farm, the biggest solar  farm in Luzon that has claims to be able to power the noontime energy needs of western Batangas.

The only difference was, floating solar farm needs no excavation in the land for it is built in land technology that can maximize the use of lakes created by abandoned open-pit mining by deploying solar panels on top of it.

Solar Philippines CEO Leandro Leviste said the Calatagan Solar Farm is one of the first of dozens of solar projects completed under the Aquino administration. 


Blessing in disguise

The inauguration of the project was a day after former President Noynoy Aquino visited former US Vice President Al Gore that called on the Philippines to end its dependence on coal. Gore warned that if such actions are not taken, rising sea levels caused by climate change may threaten 13.6 million Filipinos living in coastal areas.

In 2016, the Philippines has become the largest solar market in Southeast Asia and one of the largest among emerging markets worldwide

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Sources: ABS-CBNInquirer