ACEN to build 1GW of floating solar in the Philippines

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Southeast Asia is expected to drive the growth of FPV, as is the case of the 60MWp plant in Singapore developed by Sembcorp Industries. Image: Sembcorp Industries.

Energy platform ACEN has planned to develop 1GW of floating solar PV (FPV) in Laguna, in the northern Philippines.

Through a renewable energy contract area utilization (RECAU) agreement, the company has secured an 800 hectares lease with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to develop FPV in Laguna Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake.

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The company has not disclosed when the project would start construction nor when it expects the floating solar plant to be commissioned. PV Tech has contacted ACEN for clarity on this.

This is the Philippines-based developer’s first large-scale floating solar project as it explores and integrates new technologies into its renewables portfolio.

Eric Francia, ACEN president and CEO, said: “As we explore the potential of our first large-scale floating solar project which will be a crucial part of ACEN’s master plan to achieve our 2030 goal, we are excited to spearhead this energy innovation in the Philippines. We are committed to expanding our clean energy assets while addressing land scarcity.”

The size of this project would be around the same as the floating solar PV plant announced earlier this year by Chinese state firm China Energy Engineering Corporation which proposed to build a 1GW plant in Zimbabwe.

Floating solar is expected to be driven by Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, with the market targeted to surpass 6GW of installed capacity by 2031. China, India and Indonesia are expected to encompass 70% of the global market’s share of that segment during the next decade.

If Asia is expected to be the key driver for floating solar, Europe is looking into building its own momentum on offshore floating solar, thanks to the Netherlands and its offshore wind tenders that seek to co-locate it with offshore solar, a technology that is still in early stages and with some pilot projects moving forward and working around all the challenges enticed to the technology.

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