Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Clark Solar Facility

By Anton Antonio
October 15, 2015

Green and renewable energy sources are the thing of the future and we should be thankful that the Philippine government welcomes this worldview.  Encouraging solar energy initiatives has become more pronounced lately.  One such project is the proposed Clark solar facility in Angeles City, Pampanga.  Please read…

By Richmond S. Mercurio
July 24, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Asian renewable energy group SSR C-Solar Power Inc. is investing P1 billion to power the masterplanned Clark Green City.  SSR signed on Wednesday a 25-year lease agreement with state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for a 25-hectare parcel of land within Clark Green City.  BCDA said the lease agreement is renewable for another 25 years.  SSR will use the leased property to develop a solar farm which will serve as an alternative source of renewable energy in a 9,250-hectare metropolis located at the Clark Special Economic Zone.  SSR intends to initially install panels that will generate a target output of 20 megawatts (MW) which is expected to supply electricity to at least 10,000 households.  Construction of the solar farm is expected to begin in the last quarter of this year, BCDA said.  Once completed, the solar farm will be the second largest solar farm in the country next to the 50-MW solar farm project in Calatagan, Batangas.  “Clark Green City will lead the way in providing clean, sustainable power,” said Arrey Perez, BCDA manager for business development, adding that the hosting renewable solar power facilities is just one of the many environmental-friendly features of the Green City.  Aside from SSR’s 20-MW solar farm, Perez said another 100-MW solar energy contract is in the works in Clark Green City.  BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said solar power has emerged as a viable alternative which will address major power concerns such as supply, spending and environmental impact.  “We want to create a Green City that is unique using solar power as an alternative source of energy.  This partnership will be nurtured over the years.  Together, we will move forwards with critical infrastructure that could define the identity of the modern and sustainable city for our country,” Casanova said.  He added the successful number of solar panels to be installed and the corresponding increase in MW will generate enough energy to meet the power requirements of a substantial number of residences in the Green City.  Clark Green City is a flagship project of the BCDA under the administration of President Aquino and is eyed as the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis when it breaks ground next year.  The Green City was patterned after Songdo, South Korea’s Green City, which features sustainable buildings and efficient energy sources, and also fashioned out of Singapore’s City in a Garden masterplan where communities are engaged and inspired to sustain a greener environment.”

There is no debate on the environmental wisdom of solar energy.  But there is this nagging question on the propriety of building a Green City in the Clark area.  It should be noted that when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1990, the U.S. Defense Department chose to abandon Clark Air Base and turn the entire facility over to the Philippine government.  The reason was simple: (1) It would be exorbitantly expensive to rehabilitate the facility; (2) Mt. Pinatubo erupting in the near or far future cannot be ascertained; and, (3) Another eruption will render the entire area a wasteland again.  The Clark Green City, located in the immediate periphery of the Mt. Pinatubo “danger zone” may not be a good “long-term” idea… if the American government does not want to invest in rehabilitation, why should we pursue long-term development programs which would put both lives and property at risk.  If the eventuality of another eruption from Mt. Pinatubo comes to pass, what would happen to the Clark solar facility?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015). “Asian Energy Group Investing P1B for Clark Solar Facility”.  Retrieved on October 15, 2015 from

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