Solar panel maker raises production goals

SOLAR Philippines Power Project Holdings Inc. is raising its production target for a solar panel manufacturing facility being built in Tanauan, Batangas province.

“Our target was 500 MW by next year, but I think we’ll be hitting that before the end of next year. Our hope is we can do it in the first half and hit 1,000 MW by the end of next year,” Solar president Leandro L. Leviste said in an interview.


The factory will be built to produce solar panels with combined generating capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW), which the company claims will be the largest outside of China.
Leviste said technology had made solar panels so cheap. He was expecting his factory’s products to be affordable and would, therefore, sell well in the local market. “The solar panels we’re buying today from abroad are 10 percent lower in price than they were 6 months before,” he said, indicating the rapid evolution of technology that made the panels cheaper and more readily available.

The factory will start its first manufacturing line for solar panels by the end of this year. This manufacturing line will entail $100 million in investment, Leviste said.

“In the first year of operations, we’ll be renting an existing building. Construction for the permanent facility will be finished by the middle of next year,” Leviste said.

Solar Philippines is undertaking the factory project in partnership with other companies, Leviste said.

“We want to bring in other companies especially from overseas to make the Philippines a hub for solar power,” he said.

Earlier, Solar Philippines bared its plans to put up one of the world’s largest solar factories in Tanauan, Batangas worth $1 billion in the next three years. Initially, the company is expected to invest $100 million in the first manufacturing line and is partnering with other solar manufacturers for the rest of the $1-billion investment.

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