‘Green lanes’ directive seen to speed up $1.2-B floating solar project

Solar Project
At the launch, seated, from left: Secretary Frederick Go, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Investments and Economic Affairs; Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Department of Trade and Industry; President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.; Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., Department of the Interior and Local Government; Secretary Ernesto Perez, Anti-Red Tape Authority. Standing, from left: Rogelio Quevedo, Government Corporate Counsel, Department of Justice; Blueleaf CEO Raghuram Natarajan; SunAsia president and CEO Maria Theresa Capellan; Macquarie Capital senior managing director Oliver Lewis; SunAsia board vice chair Noel Cariño; Blueleaf COO Amiram Roth-Deblon.

SunAsia Energy Inc. and its partner and investor Blueleaf Macquarie Capital have been recognized as the first beneficiary of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Executive Order No.18 “constituting green lanes for strategic investments.” 

At the ceremonial launch of the green lanes attended by the President and held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila last July 13, the 1.3-gigawatt floating solar project in Laguna Lake developed by SunAsia and Blueleaf was cited as a project of national significance owing to its importance, investment size, and capacity to achieve energy security and de-carbonization targets.

The project, composed of 10 floating solar projects, is seen as the largest such enterprise in the world.  

Under EO18, all national agencies and local government units are directed to act swiftly on permit applications filed by investors doing projects of national significance. The green-lane privilege removes the challenges normally encountered by foreign investors during the permitting process and is aimed at accelerating the development and construction of significant projects. 

Related : Contract awarded for world’s largest floating solar project

SunAsia and Blueleaf first introduced the floating solar project during Mr. Marcos’ state visit to Singapore last year. The investment commitment amounting to $1.2 billion is projected to flow in-country between 2025 and 2030. 

A pioneer developer of clean and renewable solar energy in the Philippines, SunAsia applied the floating solar project as a strategic investment in order to avail itself of green-lane services for permitting and licensing processes. 

The flagship project was granted a certificate of national significance in April. This month it received a notice of award from the Laguna Lake Development Authority for lake lease rights and solar energy operating contracts from the Department of Energy.

SunAsia president Tetchi Capellan said in a press statement that EO 18 represents the government’s determination to attract and deploy huge investments that are strategic in nature. 

Through the green lanes, she said, the permitting process among government agencies would be expedited and streamlined, thereby allowing significant projects like the floating solar project in Laguna Lake to be quickly constructed.

Blueleaf CEO Raghuram Natarajan said the green-lane privilege granted the floating solar project “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 the Philippines’ ambitious de-carbonization goal of 35% share of renewable power generation by 2030 and 50% by 2040,” Natarajan said, adding: 

“We appreciate the strong support and endorsement by the Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, and 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.”

Blueleaf is a leading Pan-Asian renewable energy platform that develops, finances, owns and operates renewables and storage assets to accelerate the energy transition towards net zero and beyond. 

It is committed to upholding the highest environmental, social, governance and safety standards, and serves both corporate and industrial consumers and large utilities, providing customers access to competitive and green energy as well as solutions to achieve their sustainability targets.

Blueleaf has a development pipeline of solar, wind and storage projects in excess of 7 GW. It is a portfolio company of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. 

SunAsia is a pioneer renewable energy developer in the Philippines harnessing solar power to provide environmental and business solutions. Founded in 2013 by innovative entrepreneurs from real estate and agriculture, it continues to deliver megawatts of clean electricity in support of the Philippines’ energy security goals, and to contribute to global efforts to transition toward a net- zero carbon emission future.

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