EDC still exploring more wind-farm sites

by Lenie Lectura – December 2, 2015

from Business Mirror

LOPEZ-LED Energy Development Corp. (EDC) continues to explore possible wind-farm sites in the country, a company official said.

“We continue to look at more possible sites in Ilocos Norte and also in the Visayas, but these are still in the predevelopment phases,” EDC CFO Nestor Vasay said on Wednesday.

EDC’s wind-power facility in Burgos is the largest wind project in the Philippines. It consists of 50 units of the Vestas V90 wind-turbine generators, which has a rated capacity of 3 megawatts (MW) each. The wind project is being undertaken by EDC subsidiary Burgos Wind Power Corp. “We are really looking at a 2017-2018 timeframe and a more aggressive program will depend largely on development on the FIT [feed-in-tariff],” Vasay said.

Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said only three wind-power projects are entitled to avail themselves of the second round of FiT rate of P7.40 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

These are the 54 MW San Lorenzo wind-power project of Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corp.; 36-MW Nabas wind farm of Petro Wind Energy Inc.; and 54-MW Pililla wind project of Alternergy Wind One Corp. FIT is the per-kWh rate guaranteed to renewable-energy (RE) developers to ensure the viability of their projects. Consumers are the ones who shoulder this under FIT-Allowance, a separate line component in the power bills.

They are now paying an additional P0.0406 per kWh since February this year. In its 31-page order, the ERC decided to limit the entitlement of wind FIT2 to these projects since they have already commenced operations in late 2014 and mid-2015.

The three projects’ total capacity has reached 393.9 MW. The number is 6.1-MW short of the 400-MW increased installation target. The FIT rate that will apply to whoever will take up the remaining 6.1 MW shall be decided soon by the ERC.

In April the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a certification increasing the installation target for wind under the FIT system, from 200 MW to 400 MW. In the same certification, the DOE also clarified that considering the technical and commercial indivisibility of RE projects, the last entrant RE project shall be considered eligible for FIT endorsement for its total installed capacity if a portion of its capacity fills in the balance of the corresponding installation target.

“The Commission is cognizant that because of the DOE’s indivisibility rule, a wind project of similar scale may complete the remaining 6.1MW of the total installation target, thereby allowing the entire capacity of such plant to avail of the P7.4 wind FIT2,” the ERC said.

“Thus, mindful of the impact that the changes in the installation targets of RE generation would have on the FIT-ALL that is collected from all on-grid connected consumers, the Commission hereby limits the entitlement of wind FIT2 to the wind three power projects, which have commenced commercial operations as certified by the DOE,” the ERC said.

FIT is the per kWh (kilowatt hour) rate guaranteed to renewable-energy developers to ensure the viability of their projects. Consumers are the ones who shoulder this under FIT-Allowance (FIT-All), a separate line component in the power bills. They are now paying an additional P0.0406 per kWh since February this year.

Last October, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) adjusted the rate for wind-power projects to P7.40 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to accommodate the increased capacity allocation from 200 MW to 400MW

The rate is lower by P1.13 per kWh compared to the previous wind FIT of P8.53 per kWh.

The FIT1 rate for wind projects was linked to a 200-MW installation target issued by the Department of Energy (DOE). This was later increased to 400 MW as the total capacity of wind projects built and commissioned or to be commissioned within the year exceeds 200 MW. Hence, the need to consequently adjust the FIT rates.

Under the FIT, renewable-energy developers will dispatch the electricity generated by their projects at a premium rate over a period of 20 years.

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