DOE: No deadline extension for solar projects applying for perks

By: Riza T. Olchondra – 01:17 AM March 15th, 2016
from Philippine Daily Inquirer

Energy authorities said they would strictly implement the March 15 deadline for solar power projects applying for Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) eligibility.

All renewable energy projects vying for a guaranteed rate under the FIT scheme must have been completed, connected to the grid, and switched on by today. The projects would get a guaranteed rate of P8.69 per kilo-watt hour (kWh) for their output.

Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said she has received requests to extend the deadline, but said the Department of Energy was strict.

National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) vice chairperson Ernesto Pantangco said the board, which is mandated to promote renewable energy, also recommended there would be no extension.

“We would follow the rule that the cut-off (for FIT eligibility) will be March 15 or if the solar installation capacity reaches 500 megawatts (MW), whichever comes first. That’s based on the DOE circular signed by former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, so everybody is aware (of that rule),” Pantangco said. “If we don’t follow this deadline, there would be no end to requests for extension.”

Last year, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) expanded the total solar power capacity that would be accommodated under the FIT program to 500 MW from the original 50 MW, partly because of great demand from investors and partly because of concerns there would be a tight power supply in Luzon during the summer.

ERC commissioner Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit said she was optimistic enough projects would make it to the deadline.

According to DOE data, 18 projects (equivalent to about 681.30 MW of capacity) are lined up for nomination or endorsement to the ERC while 6 projects (equivalent to 131.9 MW) have already been endorsed.