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Philippine’s Government considers more wind power

This after the Department of Energy (DoE) decided to hike the solar project installation under the program to 500 megawatts from 50 MW.

“The DoE and National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) will study possible installation target adjustment later this year, once the commercial operation dates of ongoing wind projects are definite,” said NREB Chairman Pedro H. Maniego in a text message to reporters.

Currently, wind projects are allocated 200 MW.

“The wind proponents must show that their projects will be quick to deploy like solar, so as to augment the power supply and thus moderate the increase in WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) prices during peak demand periods,” Mr. Maniego added.

Data from the DoE showed that wind power projects scheduled to be commissioned this year are Energy Development Corp.’s 87-MW plant in Ilocos Norte (December); Trans-Asia Oil Renewable Energy Corp.’s 54-MW plant in Guimaras Island (August); and PetroGreen Energy Corp.’s 50-MW plant in Aklan (December).

Earlier this month, the DoE bared plans to increase the capacity allocation for solar to address the problem of tight power supply in the country.

Mr. Maniego said that “the DoE already issued a certification adjusting total solar installation target from 50 MW to 500 MW and transmitted it to the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) last week.”

He added that the ERC will review the DoE’s plan and set the new FIT rates.

Under the FIT, renewable energy (RE) developers will dispatch the capacity of their projects to the grid at a premium rate for a period of 20 years.

The rates approved in July 2012 are: run-of-river hydro, P5.90 per kilowatt-hour; biomass, P6.63/kWh; wind, P8.53; and solar, P9.68/kWh.

These were based on the installation ceilings — which limit the capacity of projects for each RE technology — that have been set by the department.

Currently, run-of-river hydro and biomass projects have 250 MW each.

The proposal to increase installation ceilings for certain RE technologies comes in the wake of supply problems during summer due to limited available power generation capacities.

“We are expecting better summer months in 2015 with the new plants that are coming in but I cannot leave that to chance so I want additional solar plants because the profile of solar fits summer,” Mr. Petilla has said.

He noted that while some plants are scheduled to be operational by next year, some delays are still inevitable.

“So while we simulated that we may not have a problem, we just want to make sure that we have enough capacity to accommodate increasing demand. Solar works best during summer, so that’s the most efficient,” he added.

But, Mr. Petilla said the proposal will still be discussed with the NREB and ERC because there could be changes in the FiT rates.

Should the proposal push through, the department will be issuing a resolution to announce such changes.

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