NREB pitches extended application for FiT

By Lenie Lectura – August 22, 20197
from Business Mirror

THE National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) will recommend to the Department of Energy (DOE) the extension of the deadline and expanded allocation target for run-of-river and biomass projects.

At present, developers of run-of-river and biomass power generation plants have until end-2019 to finish their projects to qualify for the feed-in-tariff (FiT) that guarantees payment for their capacity output for 20 years.

The DOE has set an installation target capacity of 250 megawatts (MW) for run-of-river and biomass, respectively.

Atty. Monalisa Dimalanta, chairman of NREB, said the allotted capacity for biomass has been filled up while only less than 100 MW out of the 250 MW capacity for run-of-river has been filled up.

“For NREB, we will request. We’ll formalize our request to the secretary to accommodate all the capacity that will be tested for FiT eligibility.

“For run-of-river, there’s no excess capacity. It will be filled up but they won’t be able to meet it within the year. It’s just that they can’t do the testing this year. For biomass, they will meet it within the year but it’s excess capacity,” said Dimalanta.

She concluded: “So, the request we’ll make to the energy secretary is to accommodate both the extension on timeline for run-of-river hydro and the excess capacity within the timeline for biomass.”

NREB is the advisory body tasked by law to recommend policies, rules and standards to govern the implementation of the renewable-energy (RE) law, which granted fiscal and nonfiscal incentives to RE projects.

For run-of-river projects, NREB will propose to extend the deadline to second quarter of next year from end-December this year. “I need to check the timeline but definitely by next year, second quarter,” she said, adding that for biomass there’s “no more deadline but [we] accommodate them because they already have their certificate of confirmation of commerciality.”

She said it is up to the DOE to decide. “We don’t know if the secretary will agree but that’s going to be our request to him that we accommodate both.  I think the secretary is open to accepting the hydro one. It’s the 100 MW excess in biomass that we are still trying to convince [him about] because that one has the impact on FiT-All.”

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved a FiT rate of P5.90 per kWh for run-of-river hydro covering an installation target of 250 MW in 2012. The regulator then reduced the run-of-river hydro FiT to P5.8705 per kWh for projects completed in January to December 2017 after reviewing and implementing the 0.5 percent digression rate.

The ERC also approved a FiT rate of P6.63 per kWh for biomass in 2012 but reduced it to P6.5969 per kWh in 2017 to reflect the digressed rate for projects completed within the year.