LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN — Two more solar farms will rise in Pangasinan following the recent signing of a joint development agreement between three companies at the Urduja House here.
The solar farms, which will occupy upland areas in the towns of Infanta and Dasol in western Pangasinan, will be built by CSFirst Green Agri-Industrial Development Inc., URIT Limited Philippines Corp., and China Energy International Group Company.
“Congratulations to this huge investment for Pangasinan. I agree with Mr. Andy Wu (of China Energy) when he said that we have the best sunlight in the province,” said Gov. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III, who witnessed the signing of the agreement.
Once operational, the two renewable energy plants, which cost US$503 million, will supply a total of 321 megawatts (MW) of power to the Luzon grid.
Last year, Aboitiz Power Corp. began constructing in Bugallon, Pangasinan its 94-MW solar power plant, the first in the province.
“I am just very appreciative that the province is now contributing nationally. We have a crisis in salt, we took over the (operations of the) 473-hectare salt farm in Bolinao to continue producing salt,” Governor Guico said.
The salt farm, which is located in Barangay Zaragoza in Bolinao, used to be operated by Pacific Farms Inc. (PFI). It produced about 600,000 metric tons of salt every year.
But in 2021, PFI stopped its production because its foreshore lease contract with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had long expired.
“Now that there is a looming energy crisis, Pangasinan is going to play a key role in contributing to the power requirements of our country with the construction of the solar farms,” Governor Guico said.
Former Bayambang Mayor Cezar Quiambao, who chairs CSFirst Green Agri-Industrial Development Inc., said that once the solar farms begin to operate, lower power rates are expected.
“Right now, we are paying P21 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). With these projects, it will only be P4.75 per kwh,” said Quiambao.
He also said that the construction of the projects will immediately employ thousands of Pangasinan residents.
“These plants will also contribute to our economic development of the province because if power is cheap, more industries will be putting up their factories here and this will be a big help for Pangasinan,” Quiambao said.
The solar farm in Dasol will cost US$218 million and will have a generating capacity of 140 MW. On the other hand, the solar farm in Infanta will cost US$285 MW and will be capable of producing 181 MW of electricity. By Pangasinan PIO