Transco complies with ERC directive on estimating RE capacity

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STATE-LED National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) said on Sunday that it has complied with an order issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on how the energy capacities of renewable energy (RE) companies are to be computed, and consequently how much they should be paid.

In a statement, TransCo said the ERC order issued on April 11, 2018 called for the use of the committed capacity of RE developers as reflected in the Department of Energy’s certificate of endorsement (CoE) as basis in the computation of feed-in-tariff (FiT) revenue.

Following the ERC order, TransCo said it started offsetting the overpayments in August after coordination and validation with the concerned developers.

Melvin A. Matibag, TransCo president and chief executive officer, said the company had previously followed the capacities reflected in the ERC’s certificate of compliance (CoC) for payment of FiT revenues as this document is the one that grants final eligibility for FiT to the power generation plants.

Last week, consumer Laban Konsyumer Inc. questioned the basis for the P36.53 million TransCo overpaid to renewable energy companies for the power they produced under the FiT system, and sought a disclosure of an updated figure while pushing for changes in how the amount is computed.

The updated amount at the time of implementation was P47 million, TransCo said.

Mr. Matibag said TransCo shares the consumer group’s concerns on protecting the rights and welfare of electricity consumers.

“I am pleased that this issue has been clarified between the DoE and ERC. But, it is also important to note that TransCo pays only for energy that is actually generated by the RE plants, not projected nor committed,” he said.

TransCo said in February that the ERC wrote DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi requesting clarification and guidance specifically on the application of the plant capacity that should be the basis in the computation of the FiT revenue.

It said Mr. Cusi had answered that the capacity provided in the DoE’s CoE is the capacity committed by the RE developer and should serve as the basis of the computation of the FiT revenue.

A coordination meeting was then held on April 2, 2018 among DoE, ERC and TransCo to discuss the basis of each other’s consideration of FIT capacity, it said.

“We are also at the forefront of efforts to bring down power rates through our petitions with the ERC and representations with DoE and the legislature,” Mr. Matibag said.

The FiT system aims to encourage the development of renewable energy in the country by paying first-mover developers a fixed amount for the power they produce for 20 years. — Victor V. Saulon