by Myrna Velasco, 20 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin
After cornering the first ever certificate of compliance (CoC) that warrants it for feed-in-tariff eligibility, Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. is gathering pace on its solar venture as it gears up for capacity expansion of up to 190 megawatts (MW).
Its solar farms IA and IB under San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol) for an aggregate capacity of 22MW have already been qualified for FIT at P9.68 per kilowatt-hour. These are the same facilities that were bestowed with the first FIT-COC by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in a ruling issued February 16 this year.
It was qualified that the certificates were given to the project’s two phases – the first one is for 13MW which reached commercial commissioning May last year and the 9.0MW which came on stream August 2014. The company though is still set on becoming part of the expanded 500MW installation for solar technology – an investment direction cast by the Department of Energy and subsequently endorsed by the National Renewable Energy Board.
According to SaCaSol president Sech Zabaleta, “an expansion of the solar park is currently underway in San Carlos, scheduled to bring the total capacity to 45MW by the end of 2015.” He added that SaCaSol II with 32MW and SaCaSol III with 33MW capacities “are also under construction in Negros.”
The SaCaSol project vehicle, it was noted, will cover the group’s solar investment expansions in San Carlos, La Carlota and Manapla – all in Negros Occidental province.
Further, Zabaleta indicated that two other sites have also been selected “for installations totaling 80MWs,” which will then bring BP’s solar portfolio to 190MW. The company asserted that it is joining the race to bring to fruition the target of the Philippine government for solar capacity installation to higher scale.
The competition in the solar space is now being hinged on the final FIT rate that the ERC will approve. So far, the numbers being floated range from P8.50 to P9.10 per kwh.