Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste is poised to sign a joint venture partnership to develop a sprawling property into the country’s biggest solar farm.
“We are preparing an initial 1,000 hectares for a joint venture with a partner who can help turn this plan into a reality,” said Leviste when asked to comment on Solar Philippines’ plans beyond the 500-megawatt power plant in the pipeline.
A Bilyonaryo.com source revealed that ultra bilyonaryo Ricky Razon’s Prime Metro Power Holdings Corp. (Prime Power) was likely to be Leviste’s partner in the sprawling solar farm.
If the deal pushes through, this will be the second partnership between the two after Razon shelled out P1.5 billion for a 50 percent stake in Leviste’s solar farm in Tarlac in June 2020.
Leviste also signed a preliminary agreement with the Ayalas’ AC Energy (ACEN) for joint ventures in solar power projects in January 2020. Six months later, ACEN extended a P1 billion loan to Solar Philippines.
The millennial techpreneur has adopted a sites and partners strategy wherein it creates value from the development of greenfield sites and later takes in partners after de-risking these projects.
Leviste is using the bulk of the P2.7 billion raised by Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC) from its recent initial public offering to purchase the 1,000-hectare land in Nueva Ecija.
The expansion will scale up SPNEC’s 500-megawatt plant to over one gigawatt.
The construction of 60-kilometer transmission line from Nueva Ecija to Bulacan would expand SPNEC’s market from Central Luzon to the Greater Manila Area.
“This project’s scale is both its advantage and disadvantage. Unlike 100-megawatt projects located next to the existing transmission, this one will need to be at Gigawatt-scale to justify the development of new transmission, which is why others have not sought to develop in this area. This is a bet on the demand for large-scale solar, and if such demand does come, this project can become larger than all the solar projects to date in the Philippines combined,” said Leviste.