Over 400 000 residents of the Philippines will benefit from a deal signed between BP and the Spanish and Philippine governments to bring solar power to 150 isolated villages in the country. Funding organisations are increasingly turning to solar as a low-cost way to supply electricity for the first time to remote areas Led by the Philippines Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the $48 million contract – claimed to be the largest solar energy project ever – is financed by the Spanish government and will be implemented in two phases. The first is scheduled to begin in September and will centre on 35 Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. BP will use solar in around 70 villages to power 5500 home lighting systems, 25 irrigation systems, 68 schools, and project management and installation of 428 packaged solar systems, among other projects.

The second phase will provide an additional 44 ARCs with 9500 home lighting systems, 44 irrigation systems, 79 schools and installation of 442 packaged solar systems.