Small scale RE market reels in more investors

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita June 07,2018

Ramon Fernandez, director of UGE Philippines (left), and Tyler Adkins, the firm’s president,
announce the company’s entry into the solar energy market in Cebu.
CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO

More investors are exploring the small-scale renewable energy market in Central Visayas.

This amid the thrust of the Department of  Energy Visayas Field  Office (DOE-VFO) to welcome more solar energy projects in Eastern and Central Visayas.

Engineer Saul Gonzales, head of the DOE Visayas Field Office (VFO) said that with solar energy projects focused on Negros, they are pushing for investors to also put up more solar energy projects in Eastern and Central Visayas including Cebu.

“We continue to promote other sources of energy. The policy of DOE is we are technology neutral. Anybody who wants to invest, they will be considered by DOE,” he said.

But while the DOE-VFO is looking at huge expanses of solar plants to help augment the energy sources in the Visayas, players in the small-scale segment are also looking into investing in smaller and less disruptive technologies like rooftop solar panels.

Aboitiz Power last month marked its entry into the small scale market segment through its newly formed unit: AboitizPower Distributed Energy Inc. (APX) by setting up a rooftop solar power source on its building in Cebu City.

This was to show their clients confidence in their technology and their capability of installing this technology in their clients’ roofs.

The latest renewable energy company targeting the small-scale market segment of the renewable energy industry is UGE Philippines which is looking at more solar rooftop projects in Cebu, where they have been based for over two years, and the rest of the country.

Tyler Adkins, UGE Philippines president, said that with a worldwide “solar revolution” happening already, the Philippines can definitely ride in the wave.

“The Philippines is a wonderful market for solar. It’s sunny here everyday. I’ve been living in Cebu for two years and it’s a wonderful environment. There’s reliable sun and a lot of demand,” he said in a recent press conference.

UGE International is a New York-based solar energy solutions provider that was established in 2008 and has since constructed projects amounting to 350-megawatts (MW) of solar power worldwide.

In the Philippines, the company only established itself sometime in 2016. They are based in Cebu.

Adkins said that over the past years, they have been keeping a low profile and trying to build their customer base and complete more projects. So far, they now have more than a dozen projects in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Within the next two years, UGE Philippines is eyeing to invest P500 million in developing more solar rooftop projects in Cebu and the entire country.

“We will be expanding our physical presence around the country and we will be expanding our project financing to offer no cashout solutions to clients,” Adkins said.

Instead of solar power plants, UGE Philippines provide on-site technology for commercial and industrial businesses.

Their main client in the country is Nature’s Spring water which now has a total of 3-MW of energy from solar power in different branches all over the country.

They started with a 475-kilowatt rooftop solar project in the Nature’s Spring Office in Mandaue City.

They can install rooftop solar panels that can generate a minimum of 100 kilowatts of power to up to 3-MW.

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