ERC to investigate second round of FIT for solar


The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is set to investigate the second phase of subsidy awards on solar projects following complaints of “irregularities” to the Department of Energy (DOE).

The complaint was filed by the Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA), who said the DOE “deliberated far too long” in disclosing those who qualified for the second phase of FIT.

“We will investigate because stakeholders are forcing the Department of Energy (DOE) to make a clear stand, saying DOE was not transparent enough in awarding the feed-in tariff (FIT),” ERC commissioner Alfredo Non said.

ERC is waiting for DOE’s final say on the issue. The commission will verify information submitted by the companies involved, including dates crucial to be qualified under the FIT.

PSPA complained that the DOE released the list of qualified companies in late June, three months after the March 15, 2016 deadline. Stakeholders then said that the list was not “transparent enough and took too long,” and that irregularities may have happened.

Aside from this, they also said that far too many participants did not qualify in the FIT.

Non said that “only regular COCs (certificates of compliance) will be given to those who applied for FIT-COCs” while the investigation is ongoing.

FIT-COCs allow FIT certified plants to collect fixed power rates under the law which is currently at P9.68 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the first batch of solar projects and P8.69 kWh for the second phase of FIT.

In June, a total of 17 solar projects worth 417.05 megawatts were identified as qualified for the second round. It now brings a capacity of 525.95 MW from solar projects benefiting from FIT.