• Solar group questions ERC issuance of fit certficates

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    THE Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA) sought clarification on Wednesday from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) about the circumstances surrounding the issuance of Feed-in Tariff (FiT) certificates in spite of inconsistencies earlier reported by ERC Chair Vicente Salazar. The FiT Program for Solar Energy launched its second contracting round for 500 megawatts (MW) in 2015. In its letter to Salazar, the PSPA—comprised of developers and plant owners that participated in the 2nd contracting round of the Solar FiT program—said it is public knowledge that numerous complaints have been lodged before the Commission on the alleged irregularities surrounding FiT endorsements made by the former administration. The inconsistencies pertain to at least two solar companies. Amontheose cited was that solar plants reaching only a quarter of their dependable capacity were granted certificates while other solar plants—such as Silay Solar and IslaSol, in particular—peaked at their maximum capacities early but were denied certificates. Ma. Theresa C. Capellan, PSPA president said, “it seemed odd for the Commission to release endorsements while there is an ongoing investigation organized last year by the Department of Energy led by Undersecretary Pete Ilagan. Normally, the Commission waits until the fact-finding is completed and a final determination by the Ilagan committee is arrived at.” Capellan reiterated that participants to the Solar FiT program have placed their full trust and confidence in the system, knowing the rules-based regime to be fair and straightforward. PSPA reiterated that investors have poured billions of pesos into building the solar power plants and these plants are currently dispatching megawatts of power to the national grid. They are seeking answers to their filed complaints as they deserve to know who are entitled to the certificates, the group said.

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