Aboitiz issues default notices to solar partner SunEdison

by Alena Mae S. Flores – July 18, 2016 at 11:15 pm

from Manila Standard Today

Aboitiz Renewables Inc. issued default notices to joint venture partner Sun Edison Philippines Helios BV in San Carlos Sun Power Inc., which owns the 59-megawatt solar power plant in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

Aboitiz Power Corp. said in a disclosure to the stock exchange Monday subsidiary Aboitiz Renewables advised the issuance of default notice to SunEdison “because early this year, SunEdison’s parent company Sun Edison Inc. filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code.”

Aboitiz Power assured the public it would exert all efforts to protect its interest. “We are exercising our option based on the shareholder’s agreement with SunEdison,” Aboitiz Power president Antonio Moraza said in a statement.

“The issuance of the default notices allows us to trigger the process aimed at protecting Sacasun,” he said.

Moraza assured stakeholders that the company remained committed to the solar project.

Aboitiz Power and Sun Edison already completed the solar plant in San Carlos City.

The solar plant, the first solar facility of Aboitiz Power, is now delivering 82 gigawatt-hours a year of clean and renewable energy to the Visayas grid.

The project started delivering energy to the Visayas grid on March 9, 2016, ahead of the March 15 deadline imposed by the Energy Department for solar power projects under the feed-in-tariff scheme.

The project, however, is not included in the list endorsed by the Energy Department to the Energy Regulatory Commission for the FIT incentives of P8.69 per kilowatt-hour.

Moraza earlier said any expansion in the same site might no longer be feasible because of lack of available land.

“We would have to acquire or lease more land and am not sure if there is any available,” Moraza said.

He said any expansion even in other parts of the country would also need to wait for the government’s resolution on oversubscription for solar power projects.

“FIT for solar is oversubscribed. Without FIT, solar is not viable…We will have to wait action of DoE [Department of Energy]. I am sure they will find a resolution to over subscription,” Moraza said.

The SacaSun project sits on a 75-hectare property inside the San Carlos Ecozone in Barangay Punao, San Carlos City on the eastern side of Negros Island.

The project’s construction started in August 2015, employing more than 4,000 workers.  About 80 percent of the hired workers came from the host community of San Carlos City and about a third or 1,500 of whom were women.

The women assembled parts of the solar panels, while the men and technicians carried the assembled parts for installation in the solar farm.

“Aboitiz Power is one of the country’s largest producers of renewable energy and our Cleanergy portfolio generates 1,263 MW, or close to 40 percent of our total net sellable capacity. This represents our commitment to support the government’s push for a balance of renewable and non-renewable power sources to address the country’s increasing energy demand,” Aboitiz Power chief executive Erramon Aboitiz said earlier.

Aboitiz Power has other power projects in the pipeline such as the SN Aboitiz Power’s 8.5-MW Maris Canal hydro plant in Isabela, Hedcor’s 68-MW Manolo Fortich hydro plant in Bukidnon and Aseagas’ 8.8-MW biomass facility in Batangas.