7 more solar projects endorsed

by Alena Mae S. Flores – February 28, 2016 at 11:10 pm

from Manila Standard

The Energy Department endorsed seven solar power projects with a combined capacity of 153.93 megawatts to the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The department sought a certificate of compliance from the regulator that will make the projects eligible to avail of the feed-in tariff rate under the second wave of solar installation target.

The department, through the Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said in a statement over the weekend, it was ready to validate the projects of renewable energy developers rushing to meet the March 15 deadline.

The ERC earlier approved a P8.69 per kilowatt-hour rate for 450 MW of solar projects under the second wave of installation target.

The procedure for the certificate of endorsement, or COE, for FIT eligibility is outlined in a department circular.

The circular tasked the department to validate “successful commissioning” and affirm the date of start of commercial operations within 15 working days, and issue the COE-FIT eligibility on a first-come-first-served basis.

The department said renewable energy developers could request for validation at 80 percent electro-mechanical completion of the project.

It said only RE developers with complete documentary requirements for solar energy projects, including a valid renewable energy service contract and confirmed declaration of commerciality, should be considered and be required to send a formal letter addressed to the energy secretary for final validation.

The validation activities will be based on the approved DoC, particularly on the designed development scheme, and any deviation is subject to prior approval of the department. Only projects which are 100 percent commissioned and in commercial operation upon final validation will be eligible for COE-FIT.

The department said it would issue the feed-in tariff eligibility until the full subscription of the installation target. The certificate of eligibility indicates the installed capacity that will be qualified for the feed-in tariff rate, while the actual date of commercial operations serves as the basis for the start 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,” Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said.

The department increased the installation target for solar to 500 MW from 50 MW to ensure availability of power supply during the dry periods of 2015 and 2016.

The projects included in the first wave of the 50-MW solar installation target enjoy a higher electricity rate of P9.68 per kWh.