Solar producers want 390-MW excess included in feed-in-tariff scheme


The National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) has provided a new committee responsible for resolving the controversies surrounding the second round of solar’s Feed-in Tariff scheme (solar FIT-2) that has been the subject in question by a majority of solar providers.

Earlier, qualified solar developers, specifically those in the 500-MW target installation, have been demanding the government to include the 390-MW excess capacity in the solar FIT to which they were supposed to receive only a P8.69 per kWh fixed rate for 25 years.

“At the NREB level, we created a committee whose primary task is to generate options for the stranded (solar) and those options, once vetted at the committee level, will be approved by the board and endorsed to the DOE (Department of Energy) secretary,” NREB Chairman Jose Layug said.

Among the alternative solutions that were reviewed by the committee, Layug cited a new round of public auction by using the subscribed marginal cost, which he said, “a subsidy scheme based on marginal cost so they can continue to operate without shutting down.”

He also said that this shouldn’t be likened to or necessarily derived from FIT; the advisory body is still weighing the numbers before submitting the proposal to the DOE.

Few other backups also considered include aligning the rate with the current P4.69 per kWh authorized to the Manila Electric Co.

However, DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has opposed a third round of the FIT regime for solar players, especially those with “stranded” solar farms in Negros where the transmission facility cannot handle any more power capacity.

Under the Energy Department, NREB is the governing body in charge of the implementation of renewable energy (RE) projects nationwide.

The FIT scheme is a fixed rate per kWh offered to participating renewable producers for a period of 20 years issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to accelerate investments in the expensive RE technologies.

In April 2014, the DOE increased the proposed target capacity of solar installation from 50-MW to 500-MW, wherein the ERC decreased its approved FIT rate from P9.68 per kWh to P8.68 per kWh.

The lowered down FIT price is appropriated only to projects certified on March 15, 2016.