2 solar-power projects beat deadline for FiT eligibility

by Lenie Lectura – March 3, 2016

from Business Mirror

AS the March 15 deadline on the feed-in-tariff (FiT) eligibility approaches, the Department of Energy (DOE) has identified two more solar-power plants that are now operational.

These are the 135-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Cadiz, Negros Occidental, of Soleq Holdings and the 50-MW solar project of PetroSolar Corp., according to Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada.

The 29-MW Digos solar plant of Enfinity Philippines in Davao is also operational, according to Bill Ruccius, Enfinity business development director. He added that the company’s solar project is now complete and undergoing site verification by the DOE.

This brings to 214 MW of solar-power capacity, out of the 500-MW allocation, that could be entitled to a FiT rate of P8.59 per kilowatt-hour.

The DOE earlier reminded the developers of solar-power projects of the March 15 deadline for the commercial operation of their power projects in order to avail themselves of the FiT.

FiT is the per-kWh rate guaranteed to renewable energy (RE) developers to ensure the viability of their projects. Consumers are the ones who shoulder this under FiT-Allowance (FiT-All), a separate line component in the power bill. They are now paying an additional P0.0406 per kWh.

The DOE is the agency that issues a certificate of endorsement (COE) for FiT eligibility. It is tasked to validate “successful commissioning” and affirm the date of start of commercial operations before it can issue the COE-FiT eligibility on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Only projects which are 100-percent commissioned and in commercial operation upon final validation will be eligible for COE-FiT,” the DOE said.

The COE-FiT eligibility will indicate the installed capacity that will be qualified for the FiT rate and the actual date of commercial operations as basis for commencement of FiT charge.

“We are committed to a transparent award of the COE-FiT eligibility and remind all RE developers to observe the procedures under the existing guidelines,” Monsada said.