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More wind, solar projects eyed

The government is considering approving new wind and solar power projects that will boost renewable energy (RE) development and curb the country’s reliance on imported oil, according to the Department of Energy.

DOE director for renewable energy Mario C. Marasigan told reporters at a recent energy industry forum that there were new applications for solar and wind power generation that could bring RE potential capacity to 308.5 MW for wind and 60 MW for solar.

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Marasigan said the department issued recently a certificate confirming the declaration of commerciality of Philippine Solar Farm-Leyte Inc.’s 30-MW solar project in Ormoc, Leyte.

The “confirmation of commerciality” means the DOE is affirming the availability of adequate resources on site and the technical and commercial feasibility of the proposed wind project.

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“We are processing one more application for a solar project and we will confirm its declaration of commerciality soon,” Marasigan said without identifying the applicant company.

The 30-MW project, if it pushes through, is expected to be built in Luzon and may be commercially operating by January 2015.

Also being processed is an application for a wind power project, Marasigan said, again without naming the applicant firm.

So far, the wind projects pre-qualified for FIT allocation are those of Energy Development Corp. (87-MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte), Alternergy Wind One Corp. (67.5-MW Pililla wind power project in Rizal), Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. (54-MW wind farm in San Lorenzo, Guimaras), and PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (50-MW Nabas wind project in Aklan).

Regulatory affirmation allows RE developers to start construction. However, there is another layer of processing for applying for feed-in-tariff (FIT) allocation wherein selected RE providers will enjoy assured rates. Securing an allocation will make the RE power projects eligible for the FIT rate, a mechanism that will secure the developer of fixed cash flow over a 20-year period.

Marasigan said that the trend of applications showed that, contrary to initial skepticism that the DOE’s first-come, first-served policy on FIT allocation would discourage investments, the number of serious players committed to putting their RE projects into commercial operations and vying for FIT allocation continued to increase.

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TAGS: Business, Government, power sector, renewable energy, solar power, wind power
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