LAOAG CITY — Ilocos Norte continues to attract more investors on renewable energy as a 72-megawatt solar farm is being eyed in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

If plans push through, this will add to the existing 20-megawatt solar project in Barangay Paguludan-Salindeg which was inaugurated in 2016. The area covers 24 hectares of forestland.

In a project briefing to members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday (November 25), Mia Jarumayan, general manager on business development of Nuevo Solar Energy Corp., said the company plans to develop at least 36 hectares of land under the government’s Forest Land Use Agreement (FLAg).

As of posting, the company is seeking endorsement of the project from the Ilocos Norte Board.

Jarumayan said Nuevo Solar Energy is a subsidiary of Vena Solar Energy and they are “on the process of complying [with] all requirements including an Environment Clearance Certificate to be issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.”

Vena Energy is one of the largest independent power producers (IPP) in the Asia-Pacific region, producing over 11 GW in operation, under construction and in development in Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

In Ilocos Norte, renewable energy projects such as wind, hydro and solar are on the rise, making the province as the country’s renewable energy capital.

Though it has no direct impact on reducing electricity rates of households here, host communities acknowledged they continue to benefit from it through the company’s corporate social responsibility projects.

Among these include job generation, reforestation, rural electrification, scholarship grants and aid during the occurrence of natural disasters. (PNA)

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