ERC approves 3 more solar projects in 2 provinces


The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved three more solar plants in Ilocos Norte and Rizal provinces with a combined capacity of 54.10 megawatts.
According to ERC data, the commission has awarded service contracts to South Korea’s Mirae Asia Energy Corp. in Curimao, Ilocos Norte, Energy Development Corp. in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, and ATN Philippines Solar Energy Group in Rodriguez, Rizal.

The proposed 20MW solar plant of Mirae Asia is under review by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). It has completed the project feasibility study.

Mirae Asia has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction contract with LG CNS Co. Ltd. to carry out the project with an estimated total cost of $51.9 million (P2.3 billion).

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), construction of the project is 25 percent completed. The project is expected to be commissioned in July this year.

EDC’s 4.1MW Burgos solar plant is still under evaluation after it filed a declaration of commerciality on August 29, 2014.

ATN Philippines’ 30MW solar project is now undergoing construction and negotiations or connection agreement. It is scheduled to be commissioned in February 2016.

ERC has approved a solar feed-in tariff (FIT) of P8.69 per kilowatt for an additional capacity of 450MW, up from the original solar installation target of just 50MW.

An ERC resolution said solar plants commissioned prior to the new solar feed-in tariff rate would continue to enjoy the original feed-in tariff rate of P9.68 per kWh.

Only solar projects that qualified for the first 50 MW and endorsed by the DOE would qualify for the original rate.

ERC said the new rate is based on total project cost, engineering, construction and procurement cost, net capacity factor, switchyard and transformers, transmission interconnection cost, equity internal rate of return, peso and dollar exchange rate, inflation and consumer price index.

The ERC computed the total plant cost for solar at $1.958 million per megawatt, or within the capital costs of ground mounted solar plants based on the report of REN21 entitled Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.

The National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), the implementing agency of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, earlier proposed a feed-in tariff rate of less than P9.10 per kWh for the additional 450-MW solar installation.


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