Renewable energy developers keen on wind power projects
(The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Renewable energy developers remain firm on carrying out more wind-powered projects despite a lower feed-in tariff (FIT) rate set to be approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“Entering the race entailed the risk of a lower FIT rate,” AC Energy Holdings Inc. president and CEO John Eric T. Francia said in a text message to The STAR.

“Future wind investments should assume an even lower FIT rate so this would require lower [capital expenditure] cost, more efficient technology and better wind sites,” he added.

AC Energy’s two partly-owned wind projects were among those cleared to receive perks for 20 years under the first round of the FIT scheme. These are the 19-megawatt wind farm expansion in Bangui, Ilocos Norte under Northwind Power Development Corp., and the 81-MW wind farm in Caparispisan, Pagudpud under North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp.

Under the FIT mechanism, a set of incentives will be given to power developers to invest in the more expensive RE sector. For the wind technology, the FIT rate was initially pegged at P8.53 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for an allocation of 200 megawatts (MW). 

However, ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said the power regulator has approved a new FIT rate of P7.40 per kWh for the next batch of wind projects although this has yet to be finalized by the agency.

The new rate is lower by P1.13 from the original rate and by P0.53 from the P7.90 per kWh proposed by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) last June.

Aside from AC Energy’s projects, other eligible ventures under the first round of FIT incentives include Energy Development Corp.’s 150-MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

For the second round of the FIT scheme, projects eligible include Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.’s 54-MW wind farm in San Lorenzo, Guimaras; Alternergy Wind One Corp.’s 67.5-MW Pililla wind power project in Rizal; and PetroWind Energy Inc.’s (PWEI) 36-MW Nabas wind farm in Aklan.

While the approved FIT rate is “lower-than-desired,” government should immediately do its part by issuing FIT certificates of compliance (COC) to wind projects that are now running, Trans-Asia president Francisco Viray said in another text message.

“Do we have a choice? We just hope we can have our regular COC amended to FIT-COC as soon as possible by ERC,” Viray said.

PetroWind Energy, Inc. (PWEI), meanwhile, declined to comment pending a receipt of the new set of FIT rates for wind projects.

“We have not seen anything from the ERC on this so it’s premature for us to comment,” PWEI executive vice president for operations Francisco G. Delfin Jr. said.

 

ACIRC ALTERNERGY WIND ONE CORP DELFIN JR. ENERGY ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORP ENERGY HOLDINGS INC ENERGY INC FIT ILOCOS NORTE RATE WIND
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