Solar Philippines raises Calatagan capacity to 70MW

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RENEWABLE energy firm Solar Philippines has increased the capacity of its joint-venture solar power project with Citicore Power Corp. in Calatagan, Batangas to 70 megawatts from 60 MW previously.

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“We increased its capacity. The return it is about to impart is really great. The amount of sunlight that a peninsula like Calatagan gets increases the returns compared to elsewhere, so we thought of making it as large as we can,” Solar Philippines chief executive officer Leandro Leviste told reporters.

Leviste said they are determined to finish the project this year to qualify for feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives.

“Everything has been ordered and will be onsite no later than the fourth quarter of this year, allowing us to commission the project by the end of the year,” he said.

Citicore Power and Solar Philippines have equal stakes of 50 percent in the joint venture.
Besides the Calatagan project, Solar Philippines and Citicore Power are also developing a 40-MW solar farm in Mindanao, which is slated for completion by January next year in order to qualify for FIT as well.

For 2016 alone, the joint venture plans to build projects totaling 250 MW in capacity.
“Our difference is that other people wait for the rest of the funding requirements from the banks and lenders before they start building. You’re not going to win this race if you wait for the banks,” he said.

Only solar energy projects that can produce power before March 2016 can avail of FIT incentives.

Under the FIT scheme, qualified solar companies are entitled to a 20-year fixed rate of P9.68 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the first batch of solar projects and P8.69 per kWh for the second batch.

FIT-certified projects will also be given preference in the dispatch scheduling at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

For the second wave of FIT incentives for solar, a total of 500 MW of installed capacity will be granted the incentive by the government.

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