Second solar power plant breaks ground in Negros

Bacolod City, Negros Occ. – After the successful commissioning of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SACASOL)’s 22-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in San Carlos City,the company held a ground-breaking ceremony for another solar farm project, this time in La Carlota City, in the southern part of the province.

Groundbreaking of the 18-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in La Carlota was held last Friday, a day after President Aquino inaugurated  San Carlos City solar farm, in a 35-hectare property owned by SACASOL President Jose Ma. Zabaleta, Jr.

Zabaleta said he ventured into solar power due to frequent power failure and continued rising cost of electricity in this part of the province.

In La Carlota City last Friday, SACASOL officials led by Zabaleta and his partners, Roberto Cuenca and Michael Sieg, chairman of the ThomasLloyd group, along with Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Daniel Ariaso laid down the time capsule that marked the start of the construction of the 18-megawatt solar farm in t the city’s Brgy. Cubay. Zabaleta said SACASOL expects the solar power plant here to be finished by December.

Investment cost for SACASOL II project is worth P1.8 billion. It will provide 72,000 modules or solar panels making it one of the largest solar farms in the country today.

Ariaso said it is not only one of the largest solar farms but the fastest that the DOE processed and signed in just 12 days.

The pace in processing the project has impressed the ThomasLloyd group chairman who compared it to the time in Germany are processed.

“The DOE has always reckoned renewable energy to be one of the department’s substantial arm in the development of the nation’s energy capacity.  With sufficient power, people and communities move,” Ariaso said.

Meanwhile, Zabaleta disclosed that after La Carlota, SACASOL is set to build one more solar farm in Negros Occidental, in Manapla town, and likewise one in Bais City in Negros Oriental.

“We are focusing first in Negros in response to the call of the DOE and Governor Alfredo G. Marañon for the province to be the clean energy capital of the country.  We want to make sure that we first meet the growing needs of power in Negros, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo and Cebu before going into other parts of the country,” he said.

Cuenca credited the success of putting up solar farms in the province to the vision and resolve of the older Zabaleta, Jose Maria Sr.