Press Release
June 11, 2011


The solar cell manufacturing facility being built by First Philippine Electric Corp. (First Philec) will be a pioneer in strengthening the country's solar power industry and creating more jobs, according to Senator Edgardo J. Angara.

First Philec is putting up the wafer slicing plant in partnership with Korean company Nexolon Corp. The plant will have be capable of producing 400 megawatts worth of solar wafers per year.

First Philec is also a partner of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) in developing renewable energy systems, such as the country's first solar testing facility located in the First Philippine Industrial Park in Tanuan, Batangas.

The testing facility with a 180 kilowatt on-grid capacity is capable of testing photovoltaic modules for efficiency and resilience in field conditions, unlike conventional tests done inside laboratories' controlled environments. Additionally, the facility can test solar panels for optimal output in tropical conditions.

"This is solid proof that government and industry collaboration can work successfully, and that continued investments through Public Private Partnerships (PPP's) can spur the growth of innovation especially in S&T," said Angara, who chairs COMSTE.

"The government can encourage local and foreign manufacturers to invest in the RE industry by creating a hospitable environment through policy, infrastructure and incentive support," he added.

Angara noted that SunPower, one of world's largest solar manufacturers, already has two solar wafer fabrication plants in the country even if the country's solar industry remains in its infancy.

The manufacture of electronic components for solar energy production has the potential to generate $28 billion in exports, according to Ernesto Santiago, president of the Semiconductor Electronics Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), another COMSTE industry partner.

"The potential of the renewable energy industry to create new jobs and business is immense. It can also help reduce our dependence - and expenses - on expensive fuel imports. Renewable energy is a win-win proposition for the Philippines," said Angara.

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