Negros solar firm building power link

by Alena Mae S. Flores  – December 16, 2015 at 11:00 pm

from Manila Standard

Negros Island Solar Power Inc., or IslaSol, sought the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission to build a power line that will connect the 40.7-megawatt solar power plant to the Visayas grid.

IslaSol said it planned to interconnect the solar project in Manapla, Negros Occidental to the Visayas grid through the Cadiz-Victorias 69 kV line of Northern Negros Electric Cooperative through the Cadiz substation of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

The construction of the 17-kilometer line directly connecting the solar power plant to the NGCP Cadiz substation will take approximately four months to complete. It will serve as the main transmission line used for the dispatch of the plant.

The company placed the cost of the construction of the dedicated facility at P139.59 million, inclusive of the construction of the switchyard. It will fully fund the construction to avoid any unregulated charges.

IslaSol said connecting the solar power plant’s switchyard to the Visayas grid was a prerequisite for its commercial operations.

“It is critical that a provisional authority be issued considering that the deadline to avail of the feed-in tariff allocation is on March 16, 2016 or until the installation target of 500 MW for solar power pants has been fully subscribed, whichever comes first,” it said.

The Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure, managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, earlier acquired a majority stake in islaSol.

PINAI’s investors include the Government Service Insurance System, Asian Development Bank, APG Asset Management and Macquarie.

APG Asset, is a strong supporter of investments in sustainable energy generation, acquired a minority stake in islaSol along with PINAI.

IslaSol was developed by Bronzeoak Philippines, which remains a shareholder and the operator of the power plant.

The project comprises of two solar farms in Negros Occidental, with 32 MW of capacity in La Carlota and Manapla solar power plant.

The power plants are expected to supply approximately 200,000 homes with electricity generated from over 300,000 solar photovoltaic modules.

Both plants are under construction and scheduled for completion in early 2016 in time for the March 2016 deadline to avail of the feed-in tariff.

Construction at IslaSol’s sites began in August. The solar farms are expected to supply over 120,000 kilowatt-hours of daytime peak power to the Luzon-Visayas grid.