Solar Philippines House Bill passes final reading in Congress

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The Bill has come under heavy fire from both the utilities and other members of the solar community. Credit: Tom Kenning

House Bill 8179 granting private firm Solar Philippines a 25-year PV mini-grid and transmission franchise across the Philippines passed through its third and final reading on Monday.

This procedural step allows the company's unit Solar Para Sa Bayan (SPSB) to set up these mini-grids undeterred by the incumbent franchises of rural electric cooperatives. The chamber approved the bill with 198 votes in favour, seven against, and one abstention.

The Bill has come under heavy fire from both the utilities and other members of the solar community as documented by PV Tech when the Bill passed through its second reading last week, with some crucial changes.

SPSB plans to set up projects similar to that of its Paluan mini-grid completed earlier this year.

Korean utility Kepco recently entered the renewable energy space of Southeast Asia for the first time ever during a signing ceremony yesterday with Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste, for it to take a 38% stake in Solar Philippines Calatagan Corporation (SPCC), which operates a 63.3MW solar facility in Barangay Paraiso and Barangay Biga in Calatagan.

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UPDATED: A controversial House Bill granting private Filipino firm Solar Philippines a PV mini-grid and transmission franchise across the Philippines has all but passed through Congress, with only a procedural third step left to confirm the final draft of the Bill.

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