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President Aquino inaugurates solar energy plant in Visayas

(SAN CARLOS CITY, Negros Occidental) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday led the inauguration of the San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. (SACASOL) Phase I that is expected to boost the region’s electricity supply.

 In his message, the President said the new power facility will enliven the local economy and provide decent sources of livelihood for the people.

 It will also add to the energy mix and help ensure a more steady supply of power in Western Visayas, he said.

 President Aquino further said that the inauguration of the power plant is historic because SACASOL is the first large-scale commercially financed and commissioned solar power plant in the Philippines under the present administration.

 “Because of this new project, the Visayas grid will eventually benefit from an additional 22 MW, 13 from Phase 1, which is being completed, and the remaining 9 MW, I understand, by the end of June, which is not too far away,” he said.

 The investment that SACASOL made should serve as a model to energy investors, he said, adding that the company is ahead of the pack, reaping the maximum benefits and incentives given by the government.

 The President encouraged investors in the energy sector to put their money in the region and not to doubt the present business climate in the country.

 At the same time, he mentioned the prospects of more energy projects to be built in the region in the future.

 “In this light, I am pleased to announce that more power plants are underway for the Visayas Grid alone, with most slated for commissioning from this year until 2016: from traditional energy sources, to geothermal, to hydropower, to wind, to biomass, making for an incoming committed capacity of 591.60 MW,” he said.

 And as the country moves closer towards realizing the vision of achieving inclusive growth for the Philippines, he said, the government needs energy stakeholders as partners for development.

 “Thus, let us continue to work even harder, together, towards realizing our vision for the Philippines—let us continue to bring light into people’s homes, into their workspaces and businesses, and illuminate the path to responsible, sustained, and inclusive growth,” he said. PND (as)