Investors rush to complete renewable energy projects


01:59 AM March 11th, 2013

By: Amy R. Remo, March 11th, 2013 01:59 AM

Interest in renewable energy projects has remained high with investors racing to complete their power projects, according to an official of the Department of Energy.

Mario Marasigan, director of the renewable energy management bureau of the DOE, said that last week, one mini-hydropower project was launched while development started on another.

This week, an association of rice millers will also break ground for a 20-megawatt biomass facility in Isabela.

“There is greater interest … [The DOE’s presence in these ceremonies] gives financial institutions the assurance that the power projects are backed by the government,” Marasigan said.

According to Marasigan, the two mini-hydropower projects are being put up via a partnership between Meadowland Developers Inc. and Green Innov Energy.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the 500-kilowatt hydropower facility in Badian while a 400-kW project was launched in Carmen, Cebu.

Both projects, which will be harnessing the tailwater of existing hydropower facilities, want to be eligible for feed-in-tariff rates.

The Badian power project is still waiting for a declaration of commerciality from the DOE before it could start construction. The partners hope to be able to start commercial operations by 2015.

The Carmen power project, meanwhile, is still completing its permitting requirements which, when completed, will allow its proponents to proceed with the construction of the hydropower facility.

A minimum of 16 months will be needed to complete the plant, according to Marasigan.

Recently, geothermal developer Energy Development Corp. signed a deal with Vestas of Denmark for the supply of wind turbines for the $300-million, 87-megawatt wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

The signing of the deal with Vestas, the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, signals the start of construction of the Burgos wind farm which, when completed in 2014, will become the largest in the country.

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