Aboitiz firm to introduce solar panels to Mindanao

An Aboitiz subsidiary is hoping to corner a sizeable market for its solar rooftop solutions to lure more companies and even households to adopt renewable energy sources.

Jose Rafael R. Mendoza, Aboitiz Distributed Energy Inc. general manager, said last week that the company, which has started selling its solar panels in Luzon and the Visayas, is entering the Mindanao market with the optimism of adopting new renewable sources of energy to help preserve the environment.

“There is an increased awareness in environmental issues (like) climate change (that are) very relevant today,” said Mendoza last week when he presented the new power product of the Aboitiz Power Corp. in the annual Mindanao Business Conference in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

In his presentation during the event, Mendoza said with the entry of his company in the local energy market, customers are also provided with another source of power that will make them not rely on the local distributors.

These solar rooftop solutions have a 25-year system and do not use batteries, help customers reduce power needs from the distributors even when their peak demand stays, the smart investors blend well between the power sourced from the distributors and the solutions, and customers can secure net metering if they use less than 100 kilowatts or if more than the 100 kilowatts, grid standards are followed.

Under Renewable Energy Act of 2008, net metering allows a customer to sell to the grid the power that is not being used as a result of the installation of solar panels. This allows customers to save as a result.

Romeo M. Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) deputy executive director, told the TIMES that the entry of the Aboitiz group into the solar panel industry “will provide another renewable source for people who want to help rehabilitate the environment.”

“This is a welcome initiative because those who want to install solar panels will now have another source for it,” said Montenegro, also the MinDA point person in relation to power issues.

The agency has been among those pushing for the continued development of renewable sources of energy through its one-stop facilitation and monitoring center, a platform that helps and monitors the implementation of renewable energy projects in Mindanao.

Mendoza added that the new source is “part of our (Aboitiz Power Corp.) commitment to balance our energy mix (between renewable and fossil-fueled sources).”

At present, the group has about 3,000 megawatts in capacity with about 30% of it is sourced from its 30 renewable energy plants.

In Mindanao, the company is expected to increase its renewable energy portfolio late this year to about 130 megawatt with the operations of Hedcor’s 68.8-megawatt plant in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

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