The ceremonial launch of EO18 presidential directive (Courtesy of Blueleaf Energy)

Floating solar projects become first beneficiaries of Philippine government’s strategic investments directive

SunAsia Energy, the developer of the largest floating solar project in the world and its partner and investor Blueleaf Energy, have been recognized as the first beneficiaries of the recently signed Executive Order 18 (EO18) – a presidential directive creating a green lane for strategic investments in the Philippines.

The ceremonial launch of EO18 presidential directive (Courtesy of Blueleaf Energy)

During the ceremonial launch of EO18 held on July 13, 2023, attended by the president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the 10 floating solar projects in Laguna Lake, developed by SunAsia Energy and its partner Blueleaf Energy were cited as ‘projects of national significance’ owing to its capacity, size of investments and importance to achieve energy security and decarbonization targets.

The Executive Order is aimed to enjoin all national agencies and local government units (LGUs) to act swiftly on permit applications filed by investors doing projects of national significance. The privilege brought by the ‘green lane’ removes the challenges normally encountered by foreign investors during the permitting process. It aims to accelerate the development and construction of the project.

SunAsia Energy and Blueleaf Energy first introduced the innovative floating solar project during the State Visit of President Marcos Jr. in Singapore last year. The investment commitment amounting to $1.2 billion is projected to flow in-country between 2025 to 2030.

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SunAsia Energy is a pioneer developer of clean and renewable solar energy in the Philippines. It applied the 10 floating solar projects with a combined capacity of 1.3GW as strategic investment in order to avail of the Green Lane services for permitting and licensing processes.

Since the flagship project was granted the certificate of national significance in April, project milestones were progressed within two months. The project received the notice of award from the Laguna Lake Development Authority for lake lease rights and Solar Energy Operating Contracts (SEOCs) from the Department of Energy (DOE) in July.

In a press statement, SunAsia Energy’s president Tetchi Capellan said EO18 represents the government’s determination to attract and deploy huge investments that are strategic in nature.

By creating a Green Lane, she said, the permitting process among government agencies will be expedited and streamlined thereby allowing significant projects like the floating solar in Laguna Lake to be closer to construction.

Blueleaf Energy’s CEO, Raghuram Natarajan, added: “The green lane privilege granted to the Laguna floating solar PV projects emphasizes the strong commitment and a step in the right direction to mobilize significant capital into green energy projects.”

 “This acceleration will play a crucial role in achieving Philippines’ ambitious decarbonization goal of 35% share of renewable power generation by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

“We appreciate the strong support and endorsement by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Board of Investments, Department of Energy of the Philippines and look forward to be working with the public and private sectors to ensure that the project activities are conducted in a manner that will create significant social and economic benefits to the community.”

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