TAREC puts expansion of wind farm on hold

February 2017

TRANS-ASIA Renewable Energy Corp. (TAREC) is banking on the passage of rules on renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to start the expansion of its wind farm project on Guimaras Island by 40 megawatts.

“As of now the expansion is on hold,” said Francisco L. Viray, president and chief executive officer of TAREC parent Phinma Energy Corp.

He said TAREC’s wind capacity upgrade has been postponed after the Department of Energy (DoE) announced that a third round of guaranteed rate, or feed-in-tariff (FiT), is not planned after the second installation quota was reached.

“Without any third round of FiT, ang pag-asa na lang [the only hope] is RPS and carbon tax,” he said.

RPS is a market-based policy that requires distribution utilities and other industry participants to source a portion of their power supply from eligible renewable energy resources. A carbon tax is levied on fossil fuels and aimed at reducing the emission of carbon dioxide.

“Hindi siya substantial pero may papasok siguro [It not substantial but there would be entrants],” he said.

Asked about the company’s capital expenditure for 2017, Mr. Viray said: “We have no projects for implementation this year.” He added that this year’s outlay would be mostly for general office operation.

“We’ve completed most of our capital projects. We’re enjoying [them] now,” said Danielle R. del Rosario, Phinma Energy assistant vice-president for corporate affairs.

TAREC previously pinned its expansion plan on a FiT rate for which its 54-MW San Lorenzo wind farm project on the island province in Western Visayas was able to avail. The 40-MW upgrade will be in Sibunag municipality, which is about 15 kilometers away from San Lorenzo town.

The expansion would entail the construction of around 16 to 20 wind turbine generators, or fewer than the 27 towers for the San Lorenzo project. If the company decides to install a bigger capacity for each tower, from the current 2 MW for the San Lorenzo towers, the number of wind turbines would be 16 at most.

The San Lorenzo project is one of three wind energy projects that were granted a FiT rate of P7.40 per kWh under the second installation target of 200 MW. The first 200 MW was secured by four projects, each with a guaranteed rate of P8.53 per kWh.

Under the previous administration, the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) has recommended a FiT rate of P6.97 per kilowatt-hour for wind energy and an installation target of 500 MW.

TAREC, a fully owned subsidiary of Phinma Energy, received a certificate of compliance for the San Lorenzo project from the Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 11, 2015. It secured a rate of P7.40 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) retroactive to Dec. 27, 2014 and guaranteed for 20 years until Dec. 26, 2034.

Under the FiT system, qualified developers of emerging renewable sources are offered a fixed rate per kWh of their exported electricity, but excluding the energy for their own use. Their entitlement is taken from a “feed-in-tariff allowance” billed to all on-grid electricity consumers who are supplied with power through the distribution or transmission network.


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