Philippines' New Solar Cell Manufacturing Facilty under PPP

The Philippines' solar power industry can expect a boost with the completion of a solar cell manufacturing facility in Batangas,South of Manila Philippines.

The new facility being built by First Philippine Electric Corp. (First Philec) is building the wafer slicing plant with Korean firm Nexolon Corporation.

Once completed, the plant will be capable of producing 400 megawatts worth of solar wafers per year.

“This is solid proof that government and industry collaboration can work successfully, and that continued investments through Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) can spur the growth of innovation especially in science and technology," Angara said in a statement.

Angara chairs the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), where First Philec is a partner.

Still, Angara said that the government can further encourage local and foreign manufacturers to invest in renewable energy "by creating a hospitable environment through policy, infrastructure and incentive support."

First Philec is a partner of COMSTE in developing renewable energy systems, such as the country’s first solar testing facility located in the First Philippine Industrial Park in Tanuan, Batangas.

The testing facility with a 180 kilowatt on-grid capacity would be capable of testing photovoltaic modules in-house for efficiency and resilience in field conditions, unlike conventional tests done inside controlled laboratory environments.

Also, the facility would be able to test solar panels for optimal output in tropical conditions.

On the other hand, Angara noted that SunPower, one of the world's largest solar manufacturers, already has two solar wafer fabrication plants in the country even if the country's solar industry is still in its infancy.

Ernesto Santiago, president of the Semiconductor Electronics Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), another COMSTE industry partner, said the manufacture of electronic components for solar energy production has the potential to generate $28 billion in exports.

“The potential of the renewable energy industry to create new jobs and business is immense. It can also help reduce our dependence – and expenses – on expensive fuel imports. Renewable energy is a win-win proposition for the Philippines


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