ERC: TransCo overpaid P36.5M to 8 RE firms

By Jordeene Sheex Lagare – October 5, 2018
from The Manila Times

THE National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) overpaid some generation companies (gencos) by P36.5 million as of April under a scheme aimed at subsidizing renewable energy (RE) firms, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said.

In an April 11 order citing the state-run company’s February billings and docketed on June 11, the energy regulator said that of the amount, P32.9 million were paid to biomass companies and P3.7 million to run-of-river developers under the feed-in-tariff allowance (FiT-All) scheme.

TransCo administers the fund for FiT-All, which was created by virtue of Republic Act 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

For overpaying eight RE gencos, ERC ordered TransCo to make one-time payments to those it had paid less than P1 million and pay those it had paid more than P1 million on a staggered basis.

The overpaid companies are run-of-river firms Hedcor Tudaya Inc. and Hedcor Sabangan Inc.; and biomass companies Pangea Green Energy Philippines Inc., Montalban Methane Power Corp., Bataan 2020 Inc., Green Innovations for Tomorrow Corp., Bicol Biomass Energy Corp. and Isabela Biomass Energy Corp.

The ERC accounted the overpayment using the capacity of FiT-eligible entities totaling 1,119.10 megawatts (MW) under its certificate of compliance (COC). This turned out to be higher than the 1,090 MW total capacity of these companies, as stated in the Department of Energy’s Certificate of Endorsement (COE).

Consequently, the regulator also ordered TransCo to use the committed capacity in the COE, instead of the COC, as reference.

Consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc., which released the ERC’s order to reporters, urged the agency to audit the transmission firm’s FiT-All collections 2014 and 2018.

“The newly reorganized ERC should conduct a general audit from the start of the FiT-All collections in 2014 to date. Stop all FiT-All pending petitions. Or let the DOE step in. Or ask COA (Commission on Audit) and the Solicitor General to start their own investigation,” the group told reporters.

Asked to comment, ERC Financial and Administrative Service head Sharon Montañer said the agency had ordered TransCo to apply overpayment claims to the RE firms in future payments.