Aboitiz subsidiary seeks grid connection for solar plant

by Myrna Velasco – January 31, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

The solar development arm of the Aboitiz group is seeking regulatory approval for the installation of dedicated point-to-point limited transmission facilities that shall support the wheeling of capacity generated from its 48.6-megawatt San Carlos utility-scale solar farm in Negros Occidental.

The investment for the proposed transmission assets, as indicated by Aboitiz corporate vehicle San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. (SACASUN) in its filing with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), amounts to P84.373 million – inclusive of relay protection, fiber optic communication system as well as interconnection system.

The ERC has scheduled hearings and presentation of evidence on this application on February 22 this year.

SACASUN, in particular, has prayed that “pending hearing, a provisional authority be immediately issued authorizing SACASUN to start implementing the project for the Connection Assets.”

It stressed “the grant of provisional approval will allow SACASUN to immediately start with the construction of the connection assets to enable the plant to be commissioned by March 2016.”

The solar facility – which is the Aboitiz firm’s joint venture with American firm SunEdison, is targeted for commissioning March this year – in time for the prescribed cut-off on availment of the offered second wave of feed-in-tariff incentives.

As stipulated in the regulatory filing, “the plant will be connected to the grid by a two-point tap connection along the San Carlos-Guihulngan 69kV (kilovolt) transmission line.”

It emphasized that “under normal operating conditions, part of the plant’s output will be injected towards the south portion of the line (which shall be its first connection point) and the other portion towards the north portion of the line (the second connection point).”

The project company added that “the connection of the plant to the grid was subjected to a system impact study (SIS),” which is currently under review by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

“Based on NGCP’s initial review of the SIS, using the two-point connection scheme, the connection of the plant to the grid, particularly its simultaneous power delivery to Cadiz and Amlan, is technically feasible,” SACASUN noted.