Renewable energy developers Blueleaf Energy and SunAsia Energy have been awarded contracts by the Philippine Department of Energy (DoE) to develop and operate a 610.5MW floating solar project in the Philippines.

The contracts have been issued by the Philippines government as the first set of solar energy operating contracts (SEOCs) for a total of 1.3GW in floating solar projects.

Under the contract, both companies will co-develop the large-scale floating solar facility on Laguna Lake.

The proposed facility, claimed to be the largest floating solar project, is expected to span the cities of Calamba, Santa Rosa and Cabuyao, as well as the towns of Bay and Victoria.

SunAsia Energy has been operating a testbed on Laguna Lake since 2019 to study the behaviour of waves, wind movement, the intensity of the sun, and the variability of the temperature in the locality.

This expertise is said to have contributed to the expanding knowledge of floating solar panels on the lake.

SunAsia Energy president and CEO Tetchi Capellan said: “There is a strong incentive to build on water as the Philippines gears up for an ambitious 46 GW solar energy installations in 2040 and at the same time, increase power supply in the country.”

Blueleaf Energy said, citing the Environmental and Energy Study Institute that the bodies of water the floating solar panels rest on help in cooling, making them more efficient than the terrestrial solar power.

According to the company, solar-on-water projects will help the government meet its decarbonisation goal as well as provide the needed power to operate industries, light homes, and energise cities.

In September 2022, Blueleaf Energy signed a letter of intent (LOI) to increase its sustainable infrastructure investments in the Philippines.

Blueleaf Energy CEO Raghuram Natarajan said: “As an active investor in sustainable infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region, we believe the Philippines holds great potential to add significant renewable energy capacity to its energy mix and at the same time delivering green energy at an affordable cost compared to fossil fuels.”