DOE won’t replace installations dropped in solar FIT race

By Myrna M. Velasco – November 24, 2016, 10:01 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Two projects are seen dropped from the second round of feed-in-tariff (FIT) race in solar, but Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi indicated he is not keen yet on replacing them with other projects as “FIT qualifiers.”

He affirmed that based on the findings of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), two solar farm projects – the 22.33-megawatt Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources Inc. and 5.02MW Solar-Powered Agri-Rural Communities – have not complied with the level of completion for them to merit the Department of Energy’s (DOE) certificates of endorsement (COE) for FIT incentives.

These two projects have aggregate capacity of 27.35MW – and if based on the FIT qualifiers already granted COEs by the Department of Energy, the total capacity would have been 525.95 megawatts.

The ERC had formally written the energy chief on its findings last November 8. In that letter, the regulatory body stipulated that two other solar developers have so far completed their projects as prescribed in the Solar FIT2 race – the solar farm developments in Negros and Silay City.

In an interview with reporters, Cusi said “we told ERC to process the FIT endorsements based on data that they have…and if there’s a problem, then they can just revert that concern to us.”

And with the ERC findings referred back to the DOE, he said “I am having that examined, but there’s no feedback yet from people who are studying those particular matters.”

When asked if the two projects which had completions ahead of those being dropped from the race would get any chance to corner FIT incentives, Cusi stressed “not necessarily… that will be a difficult decision, we have to look at the whole thing.”

Cusi added “we have to really study it because it will be a tough process. These developers will certainly push each other out the window if we are misguided in our decision… I just said, it must be solved in a way that is fair and equitable, and we should not have any biases.”