MINERVA BC NEWMAN
TOLEDO CITY, Cebu – Citicore Solar Cebu, Inc., a sister company of Megawide and wholly owned subsidiary of renewable energy company Citicore Power Inc. is piloting its “Agro-Solar Farm-to-Market” CSR project that involves the farmers at the community level to plant and harvest vegetables and other crops underneath and in-between solar modules in its solar plant located at Barangay Talavera, Toledo City in Cebu Province, and the produced are directly supplied to Carbon market in Cebu City.
Citicore Solar Cebu organized a site tour and project briefing with some Cebu media and bloggers on March 2 and also witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) among officials and executives of Citicore, Megawide and Cebu2World; Talavera farmers and Lambo Carbon vendors and other officials of the barangay and the solar plant.
Maricris Cabalhin, corporate affairs head of Citicore in her briefing with media and bloggers said, the Agro-Solar Farm-to-Market project has great potentials for additional livelihood income for the local site farmers and the stakeholders/players at the Carbon Market.
Cabalhin said that Citicore’s community service responsibility (CSR) project objective is to empower Filipino communities through positive energy and to involve communities within its solar plant site for more livelihood prospects.
The potentials for good harvests, livelihood and income for this pilot project may run to millions in just a year of operation. Cabalhin cited the cultivation of just two products—ginger and turmeric which are essential kitchen ingredients in the hotel and food industry.
She bared that based on Citicore’s estimates with the pilot production area of one hectare planted with ginger alone would yield 16-20 tons per hectare at P50/kilo, estimated income is at P800,000.00 to P1,000,000.00 in every eight months.
“Making use of the spaces underneath and sides of the solar panels and other vacant areas for vegetables, other crops and in two to five years, the production maybe expanded to more hectares. We envision that in six to 10 years, Citicore will venture into greenhouse farms for vacant areas and implement intercropping,” Cabalhin added.
Citicore integrates agriculture and solar for sustainable livelihood of small farmers
Oliver Tan, Citicore Power president and CEO sees huge potentials to this pilot project saying that Citicore Renewable Energy Corporation (CREC) is the first and only AgroSolar-Social company in the Philippines.
“CREC nurtures and makes the most of our sun and land resources through “Agrivoltaics” technology that integrates solar power generation side by side with agriculture for crop production to provide sustainable livelihood to small farmers within the host communities,” Tan revealed.
Tan further said that CREC has 170 megawatts of solar capacity; 600 megawatts of projects under advance stage of development and is expected to have 1,500 megawatts of solar capacity in five years. Eight of its solar plants are directly connected to NGCP, further securing its strong leadership as a renewable energy company in the country.
Tan shared that the Citicore Solar Cebu is considered the largest solar power in the country located in a 73-hectare area in Barangay Talavera, Toledo City that houses 193,440 solar modules (2x1meters per panel) producing about 83,846 megawatts per hour of electricity per year.
“Cebu’s lone operating solar power plant can energize over 50,000 homes in the Philippines, offsetting 46,923 tons of C02 emissions per year,” Tan said.
With Megawide’s ongoing development of the Carbon Market in Cebu City, Citicore, Megawide, Lambo Carbon and LAVO Seaside, Talavera United Farmers Association (TUFA) inked the memorandum of agreement (MOU) on March 2 to implement the pilot Agro-Solar Farm-to-Market project at the Citicore Solar Cebu plant site this year.