Aquino inaugurates biggest solar farm in Luzon

Batangas (CNN Philippines) — Thousands of metal panels neatly arranged in rows, bask in the sun.

Instead of growing fruits and vegetables, a 160-hectare farm in Calatagan harvests heat from the sun — enough to provide electricity to over 100,000 households.

Solar Philippines, the company behind it, began operations on Wednesday (March 16) of what it described as the biggest solar farm in Luzon.

President Benigno Aquino III inaugurated the 63.3-megawatt facility in a ceremonial switching, with the company chief executive officer, 22-year-old Leandro Leviste.

The company plans to put up more solar farms across the country in the next 12 months with a total target generation capacity of up to 500 megawatts by 2017.

At its peak, the over 200,000 solar panels in the massive facility can produce cleaner and cheaper power for the entire western Batangas.

Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy (DOE) Renewable Energy Board, said solar projects would be a big help especially for the summer period — along with the El Niño.

The government has an ongoing incentive program for renewable energy developers — in a bid to increase the share of cleaner and cheaper power sources in the country