2 solar projects may lose guaranteed rates

by Alena Mae S. Flores – November 24, 2016 at 07:55 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Regulatory Commission wants to remove the guaranteed power rates awarded to two solar power projects, documents show.

A report by ERC to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi showed two solar projects should have not been given endorsements for feed-in eligibility under the second round of installation target, based on the agency’s set of criteria.

Cusi agreed to investigate the issue.  “That is being investigated. Remember that we put a task force that will handle that,” he said.

Cusi said if the two solar developers would be disqualified from the list of projects receiving the FIT rates, it did not necessarily mean other solar players would receive the endorsement.

“We have to look at the whole thing. We have to really study it,” he said. “It must be solved in a way that is fair and equitable.”

Former Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada earlier endorsed to ERC 17 projects totaling 417.05 megawatts under the second wave of installation target for solar.

The department said these projects met the March 15, 2016 deadline and the projects, if granted a certificate of compliance by ERC, would be able to avail of the feed-in tariff of P8.69 per kilowatt-hour.

An association of solar players earlier urged the Energy Department’s fact finding committee to resolve the group’s concerns on endorsement of FIT eligibility under the second wave of installation targets for solar.

The department created an investigating committee in September to thoroughly study the implementation of the feed-in tariff program. The action was triggered by complaints lodged by several solar companies on the issuance of the solar feed-in tariff endorsement under the previous administration.

“We are likewise hopeful that the final outcome of the fact-finding committee will remove the cloud of doubt hovering the awarding of FIT 2 and restore investors confidence on the renewable energy business climate,” Philippine Solar Power Alliance president Tetchi Capellan said in a letter to committee chairman Pete Ilagan dated Nove. 4.

The group asked the government to disclose the template or standards used in the grant of the endorsement to the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“We pray the committee remains transparent in their undertaking and full their mandate without fear or favor,” the group said.