Asia Pacific

Cold-Storage Operators Sought for Solar-Powered Philippines Project

Philippines-based solar power developer Sunray Power is seeking cold storage operators interested in collaborating on a new 100% solar-powered, natural refrigerant-based food cold storage and distribution facility located in New Clark City, a metropolis development in the Philippines.

Larry Asera, founder and executive chairman of Sunray Power, described the pilot project during a webinar held last week by the Cold Chain Innovation Hub (CCI-Hub), a Manila, Philippines-based center for sustainable HVAC&R technology exhibitions and training. (shecco, publisher of this website, is one of the CCI-Hub’s key executing partners.)

The project, which includes specifications for a dedicated solar PV micro-grid power system, battery storage and a 10,000m(107.64ft2) cold storage facility, is aiming to be completed by the second quarter of 2021, said Asera.

“We think we can have 1-2MW [of solar power] available on-site in the next two to three months,” Asera said.

The project is being led by Sunray Power in collaboration with the Philippine Department of Agriculture and is located within New Clark City – a new 9,450-hectare (23,351-acre) metropolis development located two hours north of the Philippine capital of Manila.

Within New Clark City is 260 hectares (642 acres) designated as the “EcoLux Techno Park,” which will include a number of dedicated zones to be used for sustainable technology research and development as well as an “Agri-Tech Industrial Complex.”

It is here, in the “Agri-Tech Industrial Complex,” where the food cold storage facility will be located, said Asera. 

Meanwhile, Sunray Power is “ready to form a collaboration or some kind of business enterprise to look at this,” said Asera. “Our role is to provide the site and the power. We just need the expertise on the cold storage facility.”

Sustainability criteria

The overall goal of the food cold storage pilot project, said Asera, is to “promote a sustainable agricultural value chain through the use of modern agribusiness technologies along with the adoption of a new cold chain agribusiness model.”

Sunray Power is looking for cold storage operators that can fulfill the project’s “sustainability criteria mandates,” which include among others “clean and energy efficient refrigeration systems using natural refrigerants and clean buildings that adhere to new bio-safety and health standards,” Asera said.

Those interested in the project are encouraged to contact Asera via the Cold Chain Innovation Hub here

Cheaper power

Asera explained that because the solar power is being generated on-site, transmission and distribution costs can be significantly reduced and Sunray Power will be able to supply power “20%-30% cheaper than the retail rate.” 

“We also want to make sure the economics work,” said Asera. We’ve done this enough to know that we can deliver power generated by solar – with either the micro-grid or at the utility scale – at a lower price than the retail price paid to the utility.” 

Sunray Power has also been commissioned by the Philippine Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which is leading the New Clark City development project, to build a utility-scale 100MW solar power plant that will supply the majority of the power to the city’s expected 1.2 million+ residents by 2040.

New Clark City is also strategically located on one of the country’s most important domestic food supply pathways – in between the major agricultural production regions in Northern Luzon and the capital city of Manila. This location makes it “ideal to have a large-scale food cold storage and distribution hub,” Asera added.

“If we’re going to build a clean cold storage warehouse, we’re going to have clean power,” said Asera.  “It has to be a clean facility, they have to use clean refrigeration and it has to be in a clean zone in terms of location.”

“We’re looking at all these standards and requirements to combine it all into one clean cold storage warehouse, which will be our pilot project.”

It has to be a clean facility, they have to use clean refrigeration and it has to be in a clean zone in terms of location.”

Larry Asera, Sunray Power