Corporate News

Hydro power ventures cleared to proceed

Posted on May 30, 2014

FIVE new hydropower projects with combined capacity of 15.75 megawatts (MW) have secured the Energy department’s green light to proceed to construction stage.

Data from the department showed certificates declaring the projects as commercially feasible were issued last month.

PhilNew Hydro Power Corp. got confirmation of commerciality last April 9 for its 4.85-MW plant in Claveria, Cagayan de Oro and a 6.2-MW plant in Clarin, Misamis Occidental.

For Smith Bell Mini Hydro Corp., the project involves a 1.8-MW plant in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya; while that Euro Hydro Power (Asia) Holdings, Inc. was for a 2.4-MW plant in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

Both certificates were issued last April 24.

Meadowland and Developers, Inc. also got a similar certification last April 30 for its 500-kilowatt plant in Basak, Cebu.

Mario C. Marasigan, the Energy department’s director for Renewable Energy Management Bureau, earlier said that “developers who receive certificates confirming declaration of commerciality can proceed with construction of their renewable energy projects.”

“The confirmation also signifies that these projects are intended to be applied under the FIT (feed-in tariff) once they finish construction and start commercial operations.”

Under the FIT, renewable energy developers will dispatch electricity from their plants to the grid at a fixed rate for 20 years.

The Energy Regulatory Commission approved, in July 2012, FIT rates for run-of-river hydro (P5.90 per kilowatt-hour); biomass (P6.63/kWh); wind (P8.53/kWh); and solar (P9.68/kWh). The rates are based on installation ceilings per technology, which total 750 MW. Run-of-river hydro and biomass projects are allocated at 250 MW each, wind power at 200 MW, and solar power at 50 MW. The Energy department, however, intends to raise the allocation for solar to 500 MW this year.

Mr. Marasigan said the department will issue a certificate of eligibility under FIT to developers on a “first come, first serve” basis. “Once an installation target has been fully subscribe, the department will coordinate with the NREB (National Renewable Energy Board) to review and assign a new installation target for the particular renewable energy technology,” he had said.

He added that those that intend to apply projects under FIT but fall beyond installation caps will have to sell such capacity through bilateral deals with a power distributors or through the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano