Blueleaf Energy investing $1.5 billion for solar venture

Brix Lelis - The Philippine Star
Blueleaf Energy investing $1.5 billion for solar venture
Proposed design for NKS Solar One, a 250-MW floating solar project situated in Caliraya and Lumot lakes in Laguna.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Blueleaf Energy Philippines of the Macquarie Group is beefing up its portfolio with a $1.5-billion investment to build two floating solar projects with a combined capacity of 1.55 gigawatts (GW), targeted to come online by 2026.

The renewable energy (RE) firm and its local joint venture partners plan to develop the 250-megawatt (MW) NKS Solar One and the 1.3-GW BlueSolar in the waters of Laguna.

“We’re looking at an overall investment for these projects of around $1.5 billion,” Christopher Rainier Chua, Blueleaf Energy investment director and country head, told a briefing on Thursday.

In terms of project financing, he said around 70–75 percent will come from long-term debt, and the remaining will be covered by equity.

“More or less, the project cost would be close to $1 million per MW. It’s also low compared to wind (projects) or other technologies,” Chua noted.

NKS Solar One is expected to be the first utility-scale floating solar project in the Philippines.

A winner in the Department of Energy’s Green Energy Auction Program 2 in 2023, NKS Solar One will be developed with partner NKS Energy Utilities Inc. in Caliraya and Lumot lakes in Laguna.

The construction is targeted to start by the fourth quarter of this year while operations will commence sometime in the first quarter of 2026.

With partner Sun Asia Energy Inc., Blueleaf Energy will start the construction of BlueSolar in Laguna Lake by next year, with operations expected to begin in 2026.

In August last year, the Laguna Lake Development Authority and the partners inked an RE contract area utilization agreement for the 10 blocks of 100 hectares each in Laguna Lake.

BlueSolar will span the towns of Cabuyao, Santa Rosa, Calamba, Victoria and Bay.

By 2026, Blueleaf Energy expects to complete seven blocks of the project, equivalent to an initial capacity of 910 MW.

Both projects will provide additional capacity for the Luzon grid and contribute to the country’s clean energy targets.

Blueleaf Energy’s vision is to help “accelerate the energy transition in the Philippines through innovative RE solutions for a net-zero future,” Chua said.

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