Higher solar installation to jack up FIT-All rates

by Myrna Velasco – June 23, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

With the Department of Energy (DOE) finally making public the qualifiers in the second contracting round for solar technology, alarm bells have been raised that the feed-in-tariff allowance (FIT-All) component will likely raise electric bills again.

According to industry sources, the P0.1240 per kilowatt hour (kwh) FIT-All may not be enough to compensate all the solar projects that have been recently endorsed for the subsidy borne out of consumers’ pockets.

It is worth noting that FIT Administrator National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) previously batted for a FIT-All charge of P0.147 per kwh based on the list of prospective projects that had been available to it at the time of its filing with the Energy Regulatory Commission.

And during the period when ERC was deliberating on the adjusted FIT-All rate, the expectation would be ‘under-subscribed’ installation in solar developments. The reverse happened, however, that the DOE had to qualify up to 525.95 megawatts of capacities for FIT availments. In fact, total developments reached as high as 890 megawatts.

This early, power distribution firm Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is concurring to the idea that the FIT-All may be adjusted again upwards from the current level.

The utility firm indicated that the public seems to be “bracing for a much higher FIT-All when the ERC issues its final decision on the case.” It must be recalled that the P0.1240 per kwh FIT-All rate was just approved provisionally.

It was further pointed out that “a number of the projects (qualified in the second solar FIT race) had not been part of the original submissions made by TransCo as part of the justifications of the recently increased FIT-All.”

No less than ERC chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar has sounded off earlier that the FIT-All may rise further because of the over-subscription in solar installations.

It is for that reason that the regulatory body has been batting for a pause on the proposed next round of FIT rates until they have fully determined what impact these would have on the consumers’ pockets.