In an unprecedented move, Northwind Power Development Corporation – the company behind the Philippines’ famed Bangui Bay Windmill Farm in Ilocos Norte, Luzon – has been granted an extension of the provisional feed-in tariff (FiT) rate it received last year for its wind power project.
Northwind applied for the FiT last year and secured a one-year provisional approval in June 2011, but the FiT never took off.
The move by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) assures Northwind of fixed returns should the FiT scheme be implemented. The scheme, expected to be put in place in July or August, is hoped to jumpstart the stalled local renewable energy industry. The scheme has been delayed by almost three years.
ERC said in a statement: “Considering that the FiT for the emerging renewable energy technologies, specifically for wind energy, has not yet been finally approved, the Commission hereby extends the provisionally approved FiT of 9.30 pesos/kWh granted for Northwind.” The extension started on June 5th and will be in effect until revoked.
The US$50 million 33-MW Bangui Bay project, the first commercial wind farm in Southeast Asia, is the only major wind power project in the Philippines. It sells its electricity to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative.
Last year, conglomerate Ayala Corporation (Ayala Corp), through subsidiary Michigsan Power Inc, acquired a 50% stake in Northwind to consolidate its position in the country’s wind energy industry.
The proposed FiT rates are 7 pesos/kWh for biomass, 17.65 pesos/kWh for ocean technology, 17.95 pesos/kWh for solar power, 6.15 pesos/kWh for run-of-river hydropower and 10.37 pesos/kWh for wind power. The rates are estimated to add roughly 0.12 peso/kWh to consumers’ electricity bills.