DOE eyes validation of new FIT-backed solar projects soon

by Myrna Velasco – January 5, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

The finish line is near, thus, the Department of Energy (DOE) is anticipating to start the validation of new solar farm projects that shall be qualified in the second wave of feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives.

“We expect validation request by the last week of January,” Mario Marasigan, officer-in-charge undersecretary of the energy department has noted.

At this stage, he stressed that it is practically quiet from the solar power developers’ end, with him stressing that “maybe because of the race.”

The renewable energy sector’s solar race was premised upon the fact the government can only accommodate up to 450 megawatts of additional capacity that will be incentivized with the lowered FIT of P8.69 per kilowatt-hour (Kwh).

The DOE in 2014 has jacked up the installation cap for FIT-underpinned solar capacities to 500MW, a massive addition from the original limit of 50MW but with higher FIT of P9.63 per kWh.

About 748MW capacity from 24 projects had been granted certificate of confirmation of commerciality by the DOE. It infers then that it will be a tight race for all those pushing their ventures to completion.

The cut-off set by the energy department for projects to qualify in the second wave FIT is mid-March 2016 – entailing then that the developers would only have two months from now to bring their facilities to the “commerciality phase” set by the DOE.

Marasigan noted that reports reaching the department had so far been scarce recently, but they expect to be swamped as the end of the race closes in.

“Maybe developers would not want to disclose their respective project status, so we cannot really account actual capacities,” he said.

In his last conversation with the media, the energy official indicated that some developers are still having problems with site procurements and permitting – and such had become delaying factor to their project implementation plans.