Enfinity seeks ERC okay to develop NGCP substation in Davao del Sur

by Lenie Lectura – January 27, 2016

from Business Mirror

ENFINITY Philippines Renewable Sources Inc. is seeking regulatory approval to develop, own and operate a dedicated point-to-point transmission line to connect its solar-power plant to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’s (NGCP) Matanao substation.

The renewable-energy (RE) developer is currently constructing a 33.565-megawatt (MW) solar-power facility in Digos City, Davao del Sur. The project commissioning is scheduled next month.

The transmission facility that Enfinity is constructing will help address the issue of power-supply problem in Mindanao, it said.

But more important, Enfinity needs the green light of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) so it can be qualified for the second round of the solar feed-in-tariff (FiT) system at the rate of P8.69 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

This solar FiT rate is being implemented for new solar-power projects covered by the revised 500-MW solar-installation target, which is valid until March 15.

“Enfinity’s need for a provisional authority for its Digos solar-power project is highly critical and urgent because of the first-come, first-served policy of the Department of Energy on the allocation of its revised 500-MW solar-installation target. It is imperative that Enfinity-Digos solar-power plant qualifies for the second round of the solar FiT rate because it has no other immediate option for the sale of generated power,” the company said.

Enfinity could not sell the power produced by its solar plant in the spot market because there is “as yet no WESM [Wholesale Electricity Spot Market] or other electricity market in Mindanao.”

“Moreover, with the issuance of the ERC resolution that directs all distribution utilities to conduct a competitive selection process in the procurement of power supply, Enfinity cannot readily enter into a bilateral supply agreement with a distribution utility,” it said.

There could be a third solar FiT round, but this is still uncertain for the moment. As such, Enfinity said, it “will thus be too late for the continued viability and survival of the said project.”

In its application, Enfinity said it has engaged Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corp., which, in turn, contracted with JS Engineering and Marketing Services, for the completion of the dedicated transmission facility.

The design, procurement of materials, installation, testing and commissioning of the proposed 3.2 kilometer transmission line costs P16 million.

Another P16 million would be allocated for the installation of switchbay at the NGCP Matanao substation.

The switchyard facility alone would cost P109.12 million.