Slightly lower FIT rate sought for 2nd wave of wind power installations

by Myrna Velasco, 11 May 2015
from Manila Bulletin

For the second wave of wind power installations, the level of feed-in-tariff (FIT) being sought by the industry players is just slightly lower at P8.49 per kilowatt hour (kWh) compared to the first round at P8.53 per kWh.

A source from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has indicated that the proposal was already formalized by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) through a letter.

Nevertheless, a formal filing by the renewable energy body is still warranted and such may also detail out the parameters as to how the incentives shall be allocated to qualified developers.

The wind power developers are considerably “the jealous cousin” of solar, hence, regulators are expected to act too on the anticipated petition of NREB for the technology.

It has been the solar developers that were given second round on the FIT incentives – albeit at a lower rate of P8.69 per kWh from the first approval of P9.68 per kWh.

For wind, the initial installation qualified for FIT had been at 200 megawatts. Players have been batting that such shall be increased to 500MW also, similar to solar technology’s case.

For these two renewable technologies alone, the FIT-incentivized installation could hit 1,000MW – and the subsidy to be borne by electricity consumers will last for 20 years.

Investors in wind farms were known to have taken more risks because to-date, aggregate installations after the passage of the Renewable Energy Act already hovered at more than 400MW.

Of the total, only three projects with aggregate capacity of 250MW were endorsed by the Department of Energy (DOE) for FIT availments. These are the 150MW Burgos wind facility, 81MW Caparispisan and 19MW expanded capacity of the Northwind plant.

All three facilities, however, have been hurdled by transmission constraint thus they cannot fully inject their capacity to the grid at this time.

The other developers which were initially dislodged from the FIT allocations have been trading their capacity via the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) or dangling their generated electricity for bilateral contracts.

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