Solar Farm Projects are Seen Out in The Race for Feed-in-Tariff

Author: Darvin Tocmo  Date Posted:25 November 2016 

Solar Farm Projects are Seen Out in The Race for Feed-in-Tariff Due to non-compliance with required level of completion and ownership concerns, three solar farm projects are planned to build for the race for feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives. It was said that a letter has been sent to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi about the findings that they had on the validation of the solar plants’ completion. Solar developers have asked both the DOE and ERC to re-validate data on the completion of projects as well as the schedule of ‘first dispatch’ of corresponding solar firms to establish which ones really deserved the certificates of endorsement (CoE) for FIT incentive. The data prodded to be investigated and re-examined have been those coming from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Philippine Electricity Market Corporation. Cusi previously told reporters that it had been the ERC looking into the matter; and that his department will only act on any recommendation or communication that the regulatory body will refer to them. In a letter to the DOE, the Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA) earlier stipulated that if the rules on the second solar race would have stayed true to the intent and provisions of DOE Department Circular Number DC-2013-05-0009, the ‘first dispatch’ undertaken by participant-solar farms could have been the major basis for them to qualify in the FIT incentive. “Meters cannot lie,” PSPA noted. Nevertheless, they were all just shocked to discover later on that the ‘goal posts’ of the solar FIT2 race allegedly moved to serve the interest of some parties. Cusi qualified that the COEs for the solar FIT of P8.69 per kilowatt hour (kWh) were already submitted to the ERC before he took over at the DOE’s helm, “so it will be improper for me to recall that…it’s already there, so ERC has to take action on that.” “They (relevant ERC officials) have to take action, then whatever that outcome is, if they need to revert the endorsements to us or would be needing anything from us, that is the time that we will move accordingly,” he added. Cusi indicated though that based on the initial results of the DOE’s fact-finding committee, there have been data “different from what had been endorsed, but we cannot be the jury for that.” The energy chief stated they received several complaints from project sponsors and developers that have been disqualified in the solar FIT2 race, “so we want to validate all of those information, that’s why we have that fact-finding committee of the DOE to once and for all, clarify this – if the allegations are true.”