Only Southeast Asia’s largest wind farm, not solar farm, is in Ilocos Norte

April 8, 2019 - 7:18 PM
American Public Power Association
Photo of a solar farm from the American Public Power Association

Several Facebook posts from supporters of Imee Marcos falsely claimed last March that the largest solar farm in Southeast Asia is found in Ilocos Norte even if it is in Negros Occidental.

The claim was part of the list of Marcos’ supposed achievements in her hometown being circulated on Facebook as part of her senatorial campaign.

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A fact-check made by the University of the Philippines Journalist Department disproved this claim and cited reports from local and international news organizations back in 2016 stating that the largest solar farm in Southeast Asia is the Helios Solar Power Plant in the city of Cadiz, Negros Occidental.

Helios, commissioned in March 2016, has the capacity to generate 132.5 megawatts, the highest among other solar plants in the country, according to data from the Department of Energy.

Aside from Helios, there are eight other solar farms located in Negros Occidental.

Meanwhile, the claim that the Burgos Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte is the largest wind farm in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia is correct.

It produces 150 MW of electricity through 50 wind turbines capable of producing 3 MW each. It won the “2015 Asia Power Engineering International Best Renewable Energy Project” award.

Other claims

The list making rounds has 12 “reasons” why the electorate should vote for the late dictator’s daughter.

Of these, only five were numbered and the rest have check marks.

Meanwhile, the other misleading item there is the poverty incidence in Ilocos Norte being asserted as the lowest or 3.3 percent in the Ilocos region since 2015.

According to data from the Philippine Center of Investigative Journalism, the province has the lowest poverty incidence at 5.27 percent, rather than 3.3 percent.

Interaksyon is a member of the fact-checking collaborative project headed by the University of the Philippines.