Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes together with, other officials in the province jointly appealed to Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairwoman Atty. Zenaida Cruz-Ducut to release the final approval for NV Vogt Philippines Solar Energy One, Inc. (SE1) to commence its project, particularly the building of 5 mega-watt (MW) solar plant in Centrala, Surallah.
The joint letter of appeal, which was also signed by 2nd District Congressman Ferdinand Hernandez, Surallah Mayor Antonio Bendita and SCOTECO I General Manager Santiago Tudio, highlighted the energy crisis in Mindanao that besets the province of South Cotabato.
“The 5-MW solar plant from SE1 is the sole alternative solution with the shortest lead time possible to build and operate as compared to other sources of power generation,” the letter stressed.
Likewise, the letter emphasized that “SE1 has proven its competence through direct acquisition of an 8-hecatre property, building the 7-kilometer transmission line and contribute positively to consumers through a rate impact analysis conducted by SOCOTECO 1.”
The signatories of the letter-appeal also stated that local and foreign investors are ready to downstream their funds in support of the project, if ERC’s final approval will be release.
“Further delays since the ERC public hearing conducted last July 1, 2014 in Koronadal City poses significant challenges on the part of the investors whose serious tent is to funnel their investments in South Cotabato starting the month of September,” the letter added.
At present, SE1 has completed the permitting processes from other national government approving authorities, such as; BOI Certificate of Registration (signed June 25, 2014) by Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal Jr, DOE Certificate of Commerciality (signed June 18, 2014) by Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla and BIR Importer Clearance Certificate (signed August 6,2014) by Chief Rosana San Vicente.
With ERC’s “go-signal”, the province will have the opportunity to be the first in Mindanao to adopt solar power as the renewable energy source of choice.
It is also expected to enhance economic activities through job generation, increase in tax revenues, and spur eco-tourism as well as image-building on the part of local and foreign investor, benefitting the entire island of Mindanao.