SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - This premier free port is expecting to be in the forefront of sustainable development as it eyes the installation here of a $200-million combined solar and wind farm that would generate a total of 150 megawatts of renewable energy.
“This is another pioneering role on the part of the Subic Bay Freeport, which is the first military base to be successfully converted into a free port zone,” Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia said in a media briefing on Monday.
“It will also be one of the first major clean energy projects in the country and the biggest solar installation in the whole Southeast Asia, and it is a big honor for Subic to be the project site,” Garcia noted.
“This is very significant since the whole world is looking at renewable energy nowadays,” he added.
The $200-million alternative energy project will be undertaken by Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI), a renewable energy firm that has put up a 40-megawatt geothermal power plant in Mindoro last year.
EPI is controlled by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), one of the country’s biggest mining firms in the country.
The clean energy project will be located in an 800-hectare project site on Mount Santa Rita here, which is covered by the Pastolan Ayta tribe’s ancestral domain.
Garcia said the company hopes to have the Subic solar and wind power project on stream by next year.
He said the project is in line with RA 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which aims to accelerate the exploration and development of renewable energy resources, increase utilization of such and promote their efficient and cost-effective commercial application. The law was also designed to effectively prevent or reduce harmful emissions to protect public health and the environment.
The development and promotion of renewable energy has been set as among the priority projects of the national government under the Investment Priorities Plan of 2012, Garcia added.
Garcia said the EPI project will be a pioneering venture for the establishment of renewable energy facilities in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
“This is a big stride towards sustainable development,” Garcia added. “It will help us keep Subic green and make the Freeport grow further.” (30)
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Roberto V. Garcia (4th from left) and Emerging Power Inc. President Martin Antonio Zamora (3rd from left) lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the 150-megawatt solar and wind power project in the Subic Bay Freeport zone.