by Myrna Velasco – June 16, 2016
from Manila Bulletin
The Department of Energy (DOE) has indicated that they are zeroing in on two more renewable projects to revalidate the facilities’ commercial operations prior to final announcement on which made it to the new feed-in-tariff (FIT) race for solar.
“There remains at least a project or two that we’re still clearly scrutinizing,” DOE acting Undersecretary Mario Marasigan has noted.
He explained that re-validation processes of the solar farms’ commercial operations have been done at least twice or thrice for each project.
“Similar to what we have done before, whether we have reached the number or not, we still pursue continuous gathering of data,” he stressed.
Marasigan added “even if we would just see minor details that need to be considered, if we see one thing or some data that would be material in the project’s evaluation, we re-do everybody.”
He further averred “it cannot be applied to just one project because that would be unfair or bias on our side… so let’s say: if we overlooked one thing, then re-validation should be applied to all projects.”
Field validations are separately carried out by the DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission. The latter of which will eventually evaluate and approve the developers’ applications for FIT certificates of compliance.
But with three months since deadline already lapsing, the energy department is now swamped with questions what has been taking them to so long in announcing the FIT qualifiers in the second wave of solar race.
“What happened was, we had to revisit all information and data. We had only one list, but we keep on re-submitting mainly due to editorial concerns,” Marasigan said.
He further qualified “there are plants that we have visited twice or thrice just to make sure we got the right information and the right data.”
Marasigan noted that part of the learning they had in this round of solar contracting had been on the fact that “different solar developers have their own strategies in pushing their projects forward.”
He hinted that the qualifiers will definitely surpass the 500MW installation cap, but refused to confirm if the reported 580 megawatts may be true or not.