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Press Room

Bronzeoak keen on expanding biomass::
Malaya Business Insight - November 18, 2016

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines has completed the first step toward unifying the nation’s three power grids after a recently conducted hydrographic survey found the country’s western seaboard suitable for the laying of a Visayas-Mindanao submarine power cable.

This route—beginning in Cebu and terminating in Dipolog and slated to cost the company P52 billion to execute —was determined to be feasible under a company-commissioned study conducted from September to November 2016.

With the Luzon and Visayas electricity grids long having been connected via NGCP’s Naga–Ormoc High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) line, the proposed Visayas-Mindanao connection will help ensure that electricity can be distributed and shared among the country’s three island groups, helping mitigate shortages when power plants shut down in one area or another.

Barring unforeseen circumstances and unavoidable delays, the project is estimated to be completed by December 2020.

“NGCP is pleased to report that we already finished the hydrographic survey that will determine the route of the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP),” the company said in a statement. “With this development, we now have a clearer plan on the project’s implementation. Power resource sharing between the country’s major islands will now become a reality.”

Previous feasibility studies conducted by the state-owned National Power Corp., one dating back to as early as 1984, were deferred by the government, which was then the grid operator.

An earlier study conducted by NGCP showed eastern routes as unsuitable for submarine cable ground laying because of a significant quantity of live ordinance – torpedoes and high explosive shells – from the Battle of Surigao in 1944, an underwater volcano, fault lines and seismic hazards such as unstable rock slabs that can cause landslips and tsunamis.

NGCP is seeking the support of the public and its stakeholders for the full and immediate implementation of the project.

“NGCP assures its stakeholders of the company’s dedication to determine the most reliable and cost-efficient path to completion,” the firm said. “This is a large undertaking. We want this facility to be state-of-the-art as well as sturdy enough to last generations. We are considering many factors in the design and implementation of the project, including changing weather conditions. Ensuring the quality and reliability of power transmission services to both Visayas and Mindanao customers is of paramount importance.”

With the hydrographic survey result, NGCP will now proceed with the preparation of a conceptual design, detailed cost-estimate and update of system simulation study using the Cebu-Dipolog route in order to complete documents needed for its ERC application by April this year.

Inland and route surveys for substations and associated overhead transmission lines will also coincide with the preparation of documents.

“We need the support of the government, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the different local government units the project will traverse, among others, to push this forward. With their full support, we are confident that we will be able to complete this project on time,” the company said.

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations and related assets.
--Daxim L. Lucas

Asia needs to spend $300B a year in clean energy -- ADB:
Business World Online - September 29, 2016

DEVELOPING Asia -- including the Philippines -- will need to spend an additional $300-billion net, per year on clean energy infrastructure in order to keep global warming at bay, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Asia is the world’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, the ADB reported in its updated Asian Development Outlook 2016 study, which has a special chapter on low-carbon growth. Fossil fuels, which account for 66% of Asia’s total emissions, are considered a contributor to global warming and climate change.

Most developing-Asia countries are signatories to the 2015 Paris agreement, a global initiative to keep global temperature increases below two degrees Celsius. To attain this goal, the ADB reported that the region should spend an additional $300 billion per year on clean energy infrastructure through 2050.

“The economic returns from adopting low-carbon policies needed to mitigate the increasing devastating impacts of climate change far outweigh the costs,” said Deputy Chief Economist of the ADB Juzhong Zhuang.

If the right steps are taken, the ADB estimates that the region can gain double of what it has spent to attain the goal set by the Paris agreement.

Climate change mitigation costs are lower in developing Asia compared to other regions, making it easier to trade carbon credits, which could reduce mitigation costs by half as a region.

It would also prevent around 600,000 deaths from air pollution related causes and preserve more than 45 million hectares of forested land.

Ambitious actions to cut emissions within the next 10 years could increase benefit-cost ratios and lower long-run costs by more than a quarter each.

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies could free up resources to sharply scale up fresh investments in renewable energy and carbon capture technologies.

On the other hand, if climate change is left unchecked, the bank estimates that it could decrease the region’s GDP by more than 10% by the next century.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has stated that he will not honor the Paris agreement as the Philippines is still a developing economy that cannot completely rely on renewable energy.

Environment Secretary Regina L. Lopez is seeking to have the president reconsider his stance.
--Lucia Edna P. de Guzman

DOE targets faster RE applications:
Philippine Star Global - September 25, 2016

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is working to further reduce the application process for renewable energy (RE) from 45 days to just 25 days for its speedy implementation to meet the energy needs of the country.

This is compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate to speed up processing of public dealings across all government agencies, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.

“We are looking at implementing section 23 of the DOE Act, which provides for 10 calendar days for other agencies to act and resolve pending DOE projects and DOE endorsed projects,” he said.

The DOE will initially streamline its the processing before working with other government agencies, the government official said.

“We will work within the DOE to streamline our own process then we will have a dialog, and a MOA (memorandum of agreement) if possible, with other agencies,” Fuentebella said.

Once all issues are threshed out, the DOE will propose to Malacañang to make it an executive order to formalize the agreements among agencies, DOE official said.

A law could also be passed by Congress to institutionalize a faster application process for RE projects.

“We also welcome the initiative from the legislature to come up with a law to have a one-stop shop for all energy projects to address inter-agency and LGU (local government unit) concerns,” Fuentebella said.

For now, the DOE is using Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS) to speed up the application process. The EVOSS is a Web-based monitoring system for energy project applications, information and permits.

During the Aquino administration, former energy secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla streamlined the process of RE project approvals accelerating the application process from 100 days down to nearly 45 days.
-- Denessa Rivera



Energy department to fast-track application for renewable energy projects:

Business World Online - September 24, 2016

DoE Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella said the goal is to cut the number of permitting days to 45 from 25 for cleaner energy service contracts using technology and streamlining some of the internal evaluation process.

“We are using technology,” he told reporters on Thursday after the closing event of Powertrends 2016, an energy industry conference that serves as a dialogue between the government and the private sector.

Mr. Fuentebella identified Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS), a Web-based monitoring system for energy project applications, as among the technology-aided initiatives undertaken by the department to hasten the application process.

The system, which also serves as a repository of project-related information and permits, is shared by government agencies involved in the approval process. It aims to promote transparency and accountability.

Along with this, he said the DoE was also looking at merging the technical and legal evaluation process. A department order would be issued to make the move a written guidance for the agency’s staff.

The target shorter permitting period will initially cover renewable energy projects, he said, in keeping with a directive from the president to fast-track government processes.

“From there we are looking at implementing Section 23 of the Department Energy Act, which provides for a 10-calendar days for other agencies or departments to act or resolve on DoE projects or DoE-endorsed projects,” he said.

Mylene C. Capongcol, who was designated DoE undersecretary under the past administration, said the department was assuring the industry that it was facilitating investments in energy.

“We have submitted a proposal -- a legislative agenda, wherein energy projects should be declared as project of national significance given the many concerns that we have identified,” she said.

“Some are saying 180 signatures, 160, but the only consistent number is it’s more than 100,” she said, referring to the official signatories that project proponents must hurdle to start construction a power plant.

“In our recent discussion with the the House of Representatives we will be re-submitting the proposed bill on declaring energy projects as projects of national significance,” she added. -- Victor V. Saulon


Bronzeoak to complete 3 biomass projects by 1st quarter next year:
Business World Online - September 07, 2016

BRONZEOAK Philippines, Inc. is targeting the completion of the first of its three biomass projects in Negros Occidental in the first quarter of 2017, with the second plant coming online a year after, a company official said.

“We have three plants that are going into biomass, which are where our solar sites are. We have San Carlos, La Carlota and Manapla. Each of these sites has a biomass plant attached to it,” Don Mario Y. Dia, director and treasurer of Bronzeoak Philippines, said in a chance interview.

The project is in partnership with the International Finance Corp. (IFC), which said last month that it was investing $161 million in three biomass power plants in Negros Occidental that are expected to generate 70 megawatts (MW) of electricity possibly under the feed-in-tariff system being offered by the government.

“San Carlos should be [completed] about first quarter of next year, and then every year thereafter the two others will follow,” Mr. Dia said about the plants’ completion dates. “La Carlota follows, and then Manapla.”

He said the San Carlos plant’s target capacity is 20 MW, while the La Carlota and Manapla plants will each have 25 MW.

“IFC is purely biomass,” Mr. Dia said, about the World Bank’s investment arm’s exposure in the company.

IFC previously said that the investment also has the support of the Canadian government and the Clean Technology Fund.

“IFC will pick up at the end of the development period the entire project cost, which is about $161 million. The entire project is like a refinanced arrangement,” he added.

He explained that the arrangement would require Bronzeoak Philippines to first fund the construction of the plants, with the IFC picking up the tab upon completion and commercial operation “so that we can free up the equities that are inside and then develop more.” 

The biomass project will convert agricultural waste to generate reliable base load power. It is also expected to bring additional income to farmers, reduce fertilizer costs, and help contribute to cleaner environment.

The three power plants are expected to qualify for the biomass feed-in-tariff, for which the Energy Regulatory Commission has set a 20-year guaranteed rate of P6.63 for each kilowatt-hour exported by a biomass power plant to the grid.

Bronzeoak Philippines’ San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. is a greenfield, stand-alone solar farm that supplies daytime peak power. It has a capacity of 45 MW. The La Carlota and Manapla solar farms under the special purpose vehicle Negros Island Solar Power, Inc. have a capacity of 32 MW and 48 MW, respectively.-- Victor V. Saulon

IFC invests in $161-M biomass project:
Manila Bulletin - August 19, 2016

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group, yesterday said it will invest in three biomass power projects with combined cost of $161 million in Negros Occidental support the country’s clean renewable energy initiatives.

IFC will be joined by the government of Canada and the Clean Technology Fund in bankrolling the specified renewable energy projects being developed by the Zabaleta-led Bronzeoak Philippines in the towns of Manapla, San Carlos and La Carlota in the Visayas grid.

In a statement, IFC noted that the project is expected to generate 70 megawatts of clean renewable energy for the country.

Bronzeoak Philippines Chief Executive Officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said “this funding will help utilize agricultural waste to generate reliable baseload power, providing additional income to farmers, reducing fertilizer costs and helping contribute to a healthy ecology.”

The project will convert sugar cane waste to electricity “using a low carbon-emitting process called circulating fluidized bed boiler technology.”

Prior to the discovery of sugarcane waste as feedstock for power generation, it was just being burned in the fields, thus, contributing to the worsening air pollution problems.

As reckoned by IFC Country Manager Yuan Xu, “converting agricultural waste to biomass power is a sustainable way of creating economic value while caring for the environment.”

The Philippines’ wider foray into RE projects is also aligned with its overarching goal of diversifying energy sources and in cementing its energy security agenda, he said.

The Canadian government and Clean Tech’s fund share in the project’s financing shall be channeled through the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program, with them setting high hopes that the investment would turn out viable.

According to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, their support in the Philippine RE projects is in keeping with targets to reduce global greenhouse gases.

“Through our partnership with the IFC, the government of Canada will deliver funds that will enable the growth of renewable energy while supporting the creation of green jobs,” she stressed.

To date, Canada has provided CA$271 million for climate change investments generate significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.

Tony Coveney, executive director of Thomas Lloyd Group Ltd., additionally noted that “with its use of local sugar cane waste, this project is an exciting development for all stakeholders and especially for the local community.”

ThomasLLoyd CTI Asia Holdings is the project’s principal financial sponsor; while WBE International Green Energy Ltd. of Hongkong, which is also a shareholder to the venture, will provide engineering and construction services.

In addition to loans from Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, IFC is also mobilizing funding from the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, a new syndications platform that offers institutional investors the ability to passively participate in IFC’s future senior loan portfolio.

The three power plants are expected to qualify for the biomass feed-in-tariff of the Philippine Energy Regulatory Commission. The feed-in-tariff is available to energy producers with up to 250 megawatts of biomass generating capacity.-- Myrna Velasco

IFC invests in $161-M biomass project:
Manila Bulletin - August 19, 2016

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group, yesterday said it will invest in three biomass power projects with combined cost of $161 million in Negros Occidental support the country’s clean renewable energy initiatives.

IFC will be joined by the government of Canada and the Clean Technology Fund in bankrolling the specified renewable energy projects being developed by the Zabaleta-led Bronzeoak Philippines in the towns of Manapla, San Carlos and La Carlota in the Visayas grid.

In a statement, IFC noted that the project is expected to generate 70 megawatts of clean renewable energy for the country.

Bronzeoak Philippines Chief Executive Officer Jose Maria Zabaleta said “this funding will help utilize agricultural waste to generate reliable baseload power, providing additional income to farmers, reducing fertilizer costs and helping contribute to a healthy ecology.”

The project will convert sugar cane waste to electricity “using a low carbon-emitting process called circulating fluidized bed boiler technology.”

Prior to the discovery of sugarcane waste as feedstock for power generation, it was just being burned in the fields, thus, contributing to the worsening air pollution problems.

As reckoned by IFC Country Manager Yuan Xu, “converting agricultural waste to biomass power is a sustainable way of creating economic value while caring for the environment.”

The Philippines’ wider foray into RE projects is also aligned with its overarching goal of diversifying energy sources and in cementing its energy security agenda, he said.

The Canadian government and Clean Tech’s fund share in the project’s financing shall be channeled through the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program, with them setting high hopes that the investment would turn out viable.

According to Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, their support in the Philippine RE projects is in keeping with targets to reduce global greenhouse gases.

“Through our partnership with the IFC, the government of Canada will deliver funds that will enable the growth of renewable energy while supporting the creation of green jobs,” she stressed.

To date, Canada has provided CA$271 million for climate change investments generate significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.

Tony Coveney, executive director of Thomas Lloyd Group Ltd., additionally noted that “with its use of local sugar cane waste, this project is an exciting development for all stakeholders and especially for the local community.”

ThomasLLoyd CTI Asia Holdings is the project’s principal financial sponsor; while WBE International Green Energy Ltd. of Hongkong, which is also a shareholder to the venture, will provide engineering and construction services.

In addition to loans from Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, IFC is also mobilizing funding from the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, a new syndications platform that offers institutional investors the ability to passively participate in IFC’s future senior loan portfolio.

The three power plants are expected to qualify for the biomass feed-in-tariff of the Philippine Energy Regulatory Commission. The feed-in-tariff is available to energy producers with up to 250 megawatts of biomass generating capacity.-- Myrna Velasco

Duterte Energy chief a plus factor – Osmeña::
Manila Bulletin - June 29, 2016

Sen. Sergio R. Osmeña III, outgoing chairman of the Senate Energy Committee in the 16th Congress, said yesterday the appointment of Alfonso Cusi as Department of Energy (DOE) secretary is a plus factor for the Duterte presidency in unraveling the country’s complex power problem.

“He (Cusi) has no background in energy but he has background in management. So I like that…a manager who is a problem solver. I have always asked whichever administration basta maglagay na mahusay na manager but don’t appoint political appointees…di nila kaya yon. Put in a good manager and let him pay full attention to it,” Osmeña said.

Osmeña gave his observation on the pesky power sector in an interview days before his six-year term as Senate expires at noon today.

The interview focused on the complex energy situation any administration has to face given the fact that the Philippines could be considered a grade below the level of Singapore and Japan that have the highest power rates in Asia. Two years ago, the average Filipino electric consumer paid P10 per kilowatt hour (kwh).

“I would suggest the new President and his secretary (Cusi) call for a summit among all the major players in the geothermal field and power generating sub-sector and ask for their ideas. That way they will understand what is required to development additional geothermal fields and at the same time the public will be able to appreciate the problems that stand in the way of additional geothermal production,” he said.

Osmeña said problems facing investors in the geothermal field are:

- Investors want government to build for them roads leading to possible geothermal sites as they would lose much investments if they build the roads and the possible sites are not commercially viable.

- Difficulty in obtaining local permits.

- Environmentalists whose “kalikasan” writs usually obtained from the courts last for two to three years.

“What we need is installed capacity. The Philippines right now has a peak demand nationwide of 13,000 megawatts (MWs) and we have a dependable capacity of 15,000 MWs. Luzon’s peak demand is 9,700 MWs but we do not have reserves in the Visayas,” he added.

Comparing the Philippines with its neighbors, Osmeña explained that power rates in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are comparatively lower vis-à-vis the Philippine rate all because these Southeast Asian countries subsidize their power industries.-- Mario Casayuran

526MW of solar projects qualify for special rates :
INQUIRER.net - June 22, 2016

A TOTAL of 526 megawatts (MW) of installed solar power capacity made it to the race for Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) incentives, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Energy (DOE).

The approved capacity was just half of the total 1,047.9MW endorsed by DOE for FIT incentives, or the guaranteed returns for businesses—in the form of uniform charges to end-consumers—to make their projects viable. The list would still have to be submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission for approval.

The list included projects of listed firms and prominent names in the renewable energy sector: Lopez-led firm Energy Development Corp. (EDC), PetroSolar Corp. (a joint venture of PetroGreen Energy Corp. or PGEC and EEI Power Corp.), Tan-led Absolut Distillers Inc., Zabaleta-led San Carlos Solar Energy Inc., and Ayala-Zabaleta joint venture Monte Solar Energy Inc., among others.

Businessman Leandro L. Leviste, a rising star in the solar power industry and son of Sen. Loren Legarda, has two projects that made it to the list.

A total of six projects made it to solar FIT 1, which would have a guaranteed rate of P9.68 per kilowatt-hour, while 17 made it to solar FIT 2, which would allow eligible firms to collect P8.69/kWh.

Solar power development is a hot trend in the energy industry given the short amount of time it takes to construct one project, the continuous drop in prices of materials and the availability of the resource in tropical Philippines.

Lopez-led EDC has one project eligible under solar FIT 1 (Burgos Solar Power Project Phase 1 with 4.1-MW capacity) and one for solar FIT 2 (second phase of the Burgos project with 2.66-MW capacity).

The 18-MW Bais Solar Power Project of Monte Solar, a joint venture between Ayala Corp.’s AC Energy Holdings Inc. and Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., meanwhile, made it to solar FIT 2.

The 50-megawatt (MW) Tarlac solar facility owned by PetroSolar Corp. was also among the large-capacity projects that made it to the FIT list.

The Zabaletas of sugar-rich Negros island are well-known in the agriculture industry but they recently made their mark in the renewable energy market with their 13-MW San Carlos Solar Power Project Phase A and 9-MW Phase B.

Tan-led Absolut Distillers’ 2.04-MW Lian Solar Power Project also made it to the list.

Leviste-led Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc.’s SM North project qualified for Solar FIT 1. His Solar Philippines Calatagan Corp.’s project also qualified for Solar FIT 2.

The complete list of eligible solar projects are as follows:

Solar FIT 1: Ormoc Solar Power Project (30MW) of Phil. Solar Farm-Leyte, Inc.; Cavite Economic Zone Solar Power Project (41.3MW) of Majestics Energy Corp.; San Carlos Solar Power Project Phase A (13MW) of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc.; Pampanga Solar Power Project (10MW) of RASLAG Corp.;

San Carlos Solar Power Project Phase B (9MW) of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc.; Burgos Solar Power Project Phase I (4.1MW) of Energy Development Corp.; and SM North Solar Power Project (1.5MW) of Solar Philippines Commercial Rooftop Projects Inc.

Solar Fit 2: Cadiz Solar Power Project (132.5MW) of Helios Solar Energy Corp.; Calatagan Solar Power Project (63.30MW) of Solar Philippines Calatagan Corp.; Tarlac Solar Power Project (50.07MW) of PetroSolar Corp.; San Carlos Solar Power Project (SACASOL I-C and I-D) (23MW) of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc.; Clark Solar Power Project (22.33MW) of Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources Inc.;

Currimao Solar Power Project (20MW) of Mirae Asia Energy Corp.; Bais Solar Power Project (18MW) of Monte Solar Energy Inc.; Bulacan III Solar Power Project (15MW) of Bulacan Solar Energy Corp.; Hermosa Solar Power Project (14.51MW) of YH Green Energy Inc.; Pampanga Solar Power Project Phase II (13.14MW) of RASLAG Corp.;

Kibawe Solar Power Project (10.49MW) of Asian Greenergy Corp.; Cabanatuan Solar Power Project (10.26MW) of First Cabanatuan Renewable Ventures Inc.; Valenzuela Solar Power Project (8.50MW) of Valenzuela Solar Energy Inc.

Centrala Solar Power Project (6.23MW) of nv-vogt Philippines Solar Energy One Inc.; Palauig Solar Power Project (5.02MW) of Agri-Rural Communities Corp.; Burgos Solar Power Project Phase II (2.66MW) of Energy Development Corp.; and Lian Solar Power Project (2.04MW) of Absolut Distillers Inc.
-- Roy Bustillo

Clean Energy to Take Bigger Share of Electricity Market by 2030:
Bloomberg - May 29, 2016

Renewable energy will account for 40 percent of electricity output capacity by 2030, almost double today’s market share, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The expansion will be due to lower technology costs, Adnan Amin, Irena’s director general, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV in Dubai. “We anticipate with the lower technology cost, by 2030 we’re going to have renewables capacity in the global power system at around 40 percent, which is quite remarkable growth.” That compares with 22 percent today, according to Irena.

The real challenge for renewables is capturing crude oil’s market share in heating, cooling and transportation products, Amin said. “As far as the power sector is concerned, oil plays a very little role in power generation worldwide” at about 5 percent, he said.

Electricity from solar energy is getting a boost as the price of solar power has declined. 
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, awarded a contract for a 200-megawatt solar plant in January 2015 at what was then a record-low price of 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour. Last month, the emirate received a bid for an 800-megawatt plant at a power price of 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Falling crude prices have made alternative fuels less economically attractive, curbing investment in biofuels, according to Irena. “There is a lot of momentum looking at electric mobility powered by renewables, but we’ve seen a real negative impact has been on biofuel investment," he said.

-- Mahmoud Habboush

Review of PH energy policy underway:
Rappler - May 26, 2016

MANILA, Philippines – For the next 6 months, the Philippine government will embark on a comprehensive review of its energy policy aimed at cutting down dependence on coal, while taking into consideration the reality of climate changein crafting national and local development plans.

On May 18, President Benigno Aquino III, chair of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), signedCommission Resolution 2016-001, which mandates the CCC to lead key government agencies in harmonizing policies and regulations on new and existing coal-fired power plants.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Energy, and the National Economic and Development Authority will help assess the impact of these power plants on the environment.

The agencies will also formulate development plans which include low-carbon development, and climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. (READ: 6 ways climate change will affect PH cities)

The review will be "in accordance with a low carbon development pathway, and national goals and targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development," the resolution read.

"We are happy that President Aquino signed the resolution, which is a major step to steer the country away from coal and accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy that is consistent with our efforts to fight climate change and pursue the development of a green economy," Emmanuel De Guzman, vice chair of the CCC, said in a statement on Thursday, May 26.

"It is the obligation of the government to act to save the people from climate change and not wait. The poor and the vulnerable stand to lose if we don't act with urgency," he added.

Coal-fired power plants, according to the CCC, are the biggest source of man-made carbon emissions, accounting for about 35% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Commission noted that the review is an urgent and necessary one, given the growing number of new coal power plants in the Philippines.

The review, De Guzman said, will also enhance energy efficiency and conservation in the country, and ensure clean, affordable, and reliable energy.

PH laws, int'l commitments

Philippine laws such as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 and the Renewable Energy Law of 2008 push for environment-friendly, indigenous, and low-cost sources of energy. (READ: TIMELINE: PH policies on climate change and disaster management)

Low carbon development is also part of the country's international commitments, starting with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its intended nationally-determined contribution.

In October 2015, the Philippines pledged to cut by 70% its carbon emissions by 2030 – a target conditional on assistance from the international community.

These carbon emission reductions will be taken from the energy, transport, waste, forestry, and industry sectors – the country's major sources of carbon emissions.

In December 2015, the Philippines and other nations agreed on a global climate pact which aims to keep global temperature rise this century to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Four months later in April 2016, 175 countries including the Philippines signed the Paris climate deal.

The country is also committed to the Sendai Framework on Disaster Reduction Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"Philippine climate ambition is predicated on changing our energy pathways that ensure we send the right policy signals to the investment community and generate jobs for the modern economy," De Guzman said.

He added, "We must aim for nothing less than the transformation of the Philippine economy with a low carbon energy development pathway." – Rappler.com

Incoming Energy chief Cusi ‘humbled’ by Duterte appointment:
INQUIRER.net - May 21, 2016

DAVAO CITY– Incoming Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi on Saturday said he was “humbled” by his appointment to the Cabinet of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

“I am truly humbled by my appointment by presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte as the new Secretary of the Department of Energy,” Cusi said in a statement.

The former Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager vowed to “ensure reliable, steady and affordable power supply” in the Philippines.

“I will strive to do my best to help the Duterte administration achieve electrification of the entire country, ensure reliable, steady and affordable power supply and work towards greater energy self-sufficiency as part of its agenda of sustained economic growth, social progress and political stability in the next six years,” he said.

Cusi is set to meet with Duterte here but no schedule has been set yet.

Besides heading the MIAA, Cusi also served as head of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Cusi was appointed director general of the CAAP in March 2010 but resigned nine months later after public dispute over the appointment without his knowledge of senior management officials at the agency.

In 2004, Cusi was implicated in alleged massive electoral fraud involving then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was cleared by the Ombudsman in 2012.

Cusi is currently chair of the Batangas-based shipping company Starlite Ferries Inc. CDG
-- Nestor Corrales

First solar power plant in Negros Oriental opens:
CNN Philippines - April 07, 2016

Dumaguete City (CNN Philippines) — The first solar power plant in Negros Oriental was inaugurated on Tuesday (April 5) in Barangay Tamisu, Bais City.

The event was attended by Monte Solar Energy Inc. (Montesol) CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala and representatives of the Montenegro family, the owners of the land where the plant was built.

According to the site manager, the 22.4 hectare solar power plant could produce 18MW of direct current (DC), or over 25 million kWh, in a year. This is enough to supply over 10,000 households that consume at least 200 kWh per month.

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo welcomed the project as a champion for environmental protection. Solar energy is clean and renewable and can help save the environment.

Bais City Mayor Mercy Goñi said the solar company would help boost local employment and revenue and, at the same time, it could also help increase power supply in the province. -- Roy Bustillo


Bronzeoak PHL breaks ground for new plant:
Business World Online - April 07, 2016

The project is expected to supply baseload power to the local grid and deliver 175,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. It is also forecast to provide 2,500 jobs during construction, and at least 500 long-term employment for skilled workers.

“As the country’s need for growth and demand for reliable energy continues, with the continued support of our partners, we will develop the infrastructure needed to meet those targets,” Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, president of Bronzeoak Philippines, was quoted in a statement as saying.

The plant, which is scheduled for operation in 2018, is the second biomass power plant put up by the company. The first one is under South Negros BioPower, Inc. in the eastern side of the island, which will start operating in 2017.

“All credit is due to the local governments and communities, the investors, and the hard working people that have made these a reality,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

Bronzeoak Philippines’ latest renewable project was announced during the inauguration this week of four solar farms on Negros Island that it developed with partners. In late February and early March, it completed the projects with a capacity of 98 MW. -- Victor V. Saulon

NegOcc get 80 MW from solar plants:
Philippine Information Agency - April 07, 2016

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, April 7 (PIA6) - - A 48-megawatt and 32-megawatt  utility scale solar power plants in Manapla town and La Carlota City respectively, both of Negros Island Solar Power Plant Incorporated (ISLASOL) added generated power to the grid.

Officials from ThomasLloyd Group from Germany, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI), Broanzeoak Philippines, Department of Energy and local government officials led by Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. inaugurated both solar farms in two separate events April 6.

Manapla Mayor Lourdes Escalante who welcomed the investors and guests to her town said she is also proud to welcome the entry of clean and renewable energy in her town.

Governor Alfredo G. Marañon Jr. said the province has achieved its vision of being the renewable capital of the Philippines with the addition of these two solar farms in the province.

The 48-MW utility scale solar power plant in Barangay Sta. Teresa in Manapla town sits on a 63.8 hectare land that is expected to produce 73,864,000 kilowatt-hour electricity per year.

With its 179,040 photovoltaic (PV) modules, this solar farm can displace 40,884 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Jose Maria Zabaleta, chairman of Bronzeoak Philippines said Bronzeoak is the largest investor in renewable energy in the Philippines with over 120 expert employees in renewable energy and bringing to more than a thousand jobs in the province.

“Negros is a favored island of the investors because it is easy to come and invest here with its very honest regional and provincial governments.  There is no corruption in Negros, very friendly and peaceful place rather than other places,” Zabaleta said.

Aside from the additional two solar power farms under ISLASOL, Bronzeoak also manages the San Carlos Solar Energy Incorporated which produces 22-MW power.

 

According to Zabaleta, they are also putting up soon wind farms in Negros Oriental, Bais and Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental that can generate a total of 60-MW wind power. *(JCM/EAD-PIA6 Negros Occidental) -- Easter Anne D. Doza

Bronzeoak completes 4 solar farms:
Inquirer.net - March 09, 2016

Four new solar farms with total capacity of 98 megawatts have been completed in recent weeks by Bronzeoak Philippines and its partners.

Bronzeoak said it had completed the construction and testing of the four plants, as well as their registration with the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market and was approved for power export by National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

The first of the four plants to meet all the requirements set by the Department of Energy (DOE) and NGCP is the 18-MW solar farm in Bais City, Negros Oriental, owned by Monte Solar Energy Inc., a partnership between Bronzeoak and Ayala unit AC Energy Holdings Inc.

It is located near the Cebu-Negros undersea cable and helps meet the rapidly growing daytime power requirements of Dumaguete and Cebu, Bronzeoak said.

AC Energy president and CEO John Eric T. Francia confirmed via text message that the 18-MW solar power facility in Bais started commercial operations in the “second half of February.”

The capacity of the solar power station in Bais, Negros Oriental province, is expandable to 50 MW. The P1.3-billion solar farm which was initially targeted for completion in March 2016 occupies a land area of 213,292 square meters. It is expected to generate 24,205 megawatt hours of electricity yearly, which was sufficient to meet the power needs of 10,085 households in the region and save 14,838 tons of carbon emissions (CO2) every year.

The three other solar power plants with total capacity of 80MW are located in Negros Occidental province and started commercial operations in early March.  They are owned by Negros Island Solar Power Inc. (IslaSol), a joint venture between Bronzeoak, the Macquarie managed Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI) Fund and Dutch pension fund manager APG.

Of the three IslaSol projects, 18 MW and 14 MW are located in La Carlota City and a 48-MW facility is in the municipality of Manapla. They have met all the DOE and NGCP requirements and are currently providing daytime power to the seven million people living in Negros Occidental and Panay’s four provinces, Bronzeoak said.

This batch of projects with total capacity of 80MW is the second venture between Bronzeoak and the PINAI Fund, with their 45-MW Sacasol plant in San Carlos City having started operations in 2014.

“As required by DOE and NGCP, all four plants can be independently verified by the grid system operator as operating and exporting power from each and every one of its power generating inverters, all well before the March 15 deadline to avail of the feed-in tariff (FIT) mechanism,” Bronzeoak said earlier in a statement.

Ayala-Bronzeoak’s Negros solar power venture starts operations:
Business World Online - March 08, 2016

AYALA CORP. (AC) and its partner commenced the operation of the initial phase of a solar power project that expanded the energy portfolio of the Philippines’ oldest conglomerate beyond wind and coal.

Ayala, through AC Energy Holdings, Inc., and Bronzeoak Clean Energy, Inc. completed their 18-megawatt (MW) solar power farm last month, the former told the stock exchange yesterday. The project has been dispatching its entire capacity to the grid since then.

Monte Solar Energy, Inc. (MonteSol), the joint venture firm that owns and operates the solar farm, complied with all the requirements of the Department of Energy and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, the conglomerate said.

Located in Negros Oriental, the project is near the Cebu-Negros undersea cable and helps supply the growing daytime power requirements of Dumaguete and Cebu.

Built at a cost of P1.3 billion, the 18-MW project is the first phase of a 50-MW solar power farm that the joint venture has committed to complete.

Asked when MonteSol intends to start the expansion of the project, AC Energy Chief Executive Officer John Eric T. Francia said in a mobile phone message yesterday: “[We] will wait for guidance from government regarding FIT (feed-in tariff) policy moving forward.”

The FIT system offers cost-based compensation to renewable energy generators, providing price certainty and long-term contracts that help finance investments in clean energy. Solar projects are guaranteed to receive payment of P8.69 for each kilowatt hour they generate.

The venture with Bronzeoak signaled the Ayala group’s foray into solar power since much of the Ayala group’s renewable energy projects in the past years were wind farms -- the Bangui farm in Ilocos Norte and another in Pagudpud also in northern Philippines.

AC Energy also owns coal projects.

In 2014, Ayala dropped a project with Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan for the development of a 35-MW solar power farm in Davao, saying that the “economics of solar is difficult.”

The project with Ayala is part of four solar farms with a total capacity of 98-MW that was recently completed by Bronzeoak, builder of the 45-MW San Carlos Energy project -- the country’s first solar farm, the latter said in a statement.

Bronzeoak’s Negros Occidental solar facility was the first to avail of the premium rate for solar projects under the FIT scheme.

Shares in Ayala added P5 or 0.69% to close at P725 each on Tuesday.-- Krista A. M. Montealegre

Energy projects dominate BoI investment approvals in 2015:
Business World Online - January 07, 2016

THE DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI) yesterday outlined its accomplishments last year, including an increase in the capital infusions coursed through its investment promotion arm and the country’s export-oriented economic zones, as well as the jobs they created.

Trade Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. said the Board of Investments (BoI) approved a total of P366.74 billion worth of investments last year, up 3% from a year earlier.

“The aggregated investment approvals were generated from 358 projects with an estimated 58,252 new jobs when these investments become fully operational,” he said in a briefing yesterday.

The approval of big power projects largely contributed to the increase. The projects include the Olympia Violago Water & Power Ltd. Co. at P69.13 billion, San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. at P49.45 billion, and Semirara Mining and Power Corp. at P29.50 billion.

Of the new projects, energy-related ventures accounted for 55 with a total investment of P246.42 billion. These projects are expected to have a total generating capacity of 2,095.92 megawatts (MW).

In 2014, the comparative figures were P174.69 billion from 37 projects with a total capacity of 1,542.4 MW.

Ceferino S. Rodolfo, who has been named officer-in-charge undersecretary for industry development, said the increase in energy investment bodes well for the country’s goal to ensure energy security and independence.

These investments support the Philippine Energy Plan 2010-2030 to search for, discover, and further develop energy sources,” said Mr. Rodolfo, a former assistant secretary who is now also BoI managing head.

DTI-attached agency Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) also reported higher investments last year -- by 5.6% to P295.09 billion from P279.48 billion in 2014.

Lilia B. De Lima, PEZA director-general, said the new capital represented the 598 new projects approved by the agency, which helps to promote investments in the export-oriented manufacturing industry.

Ms. De Lima said the PEZA-registered projects created 1.243 million new jobs as of October, up 7.7% from 1.154 million in the same period in 2014.

These projects are expected to contribute $36.63 billion in export revenues as of October, slightly lower than the $36.84 billion in in 2014.

For this year, Mr. Cristobal said the department will continue with the implementation of the manufacturing resurgence program (MRP), which has a budget of P289 billion this year, up from P239 billion in 2015.

He said key government agencies will have projects and programs to implement under the MRP, ranging from infrastructure development to “soft interventions” like training and capacity-building.

He said the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program is the core of the resurgence program, which the DTI is heading and plans to replicate to three to five other selected industries.

“We believe it will achieve long-term inclusive growth, and much-needed quality jobs... sustaining the competitiveness of the country,” he said.

The CARS program aims to enhance the competitiveness of the Philippines as a top destination for regional car manufacturing by providing fiscal support of up to P27 billion.

Mr. Cristobal also said the micro, small and medium enterprises “are and should be” the core of the department’s policies, programs and activities.

“We intend to strengthen this core,” he said, starting by reclassing micro and small enterprises as separate from medium-sized businesses because the support given to them are different.

On consumer protection, Mr. Cristobal said the department would be tweaking its advocacy and communications campaign to raise quality consciousness among consumers.

Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, undersecretary for consumer protection group, provided an update on the case involving alleged incidents of sudden and unintended acceleration raised by some drivers of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp.’s Montero Sport unit.

The department recommended tapping third-party experts to further investigate the reported incidents. It is also looking at tapping foreign laboratory to do the tests.

The probe will determine whether a recall of Montero Sport units is warranted. -- Victor V. Saulon


Moody’s sees stable, viable power sector in PH, Asia Pacific:
Inquirer.net - December 07, 2015

MOODY’S Investors Service expressed confidence in the viability of the power sector of nine Asia Pacific countries including the Philippines.

The credit rating firm gave a “stable” outlook amid steady power demand, low input costs for most countries, transparent tariff mechanisms for some countries, and strong government support for state-owned power utilities.

This was contained in a report titled “Power Utilities–Asia Pacific ex-Japan 2016 Outlook–Steady Demand, Low Input Costs Drive Stable Outlook, Despite High Capex.”

The outlook was for Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) and covered the Philippines and eight other economies: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
In the report, Moody’s said the outlook was also supported by the power companies’ strong to adequate funding capacity.
Stable or positive outlooks for China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Korea and the Philippines mean the ability of the concerned governments to support their state-owned power utilities, if and when needed, will not weaken materially over the next 12 to 18 months, Moody’s said.
For the Philippines, where Moody’s watches state-owned firms Power Sector Assets & Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM, Baa2 stable) and National Power Corp. (Napocor, Baa2 stable), the rating firm said it was not expecting “material margin erosion” and any major constraints on fuel supply for the issuing firms.
The credit profiles of state-owned power companies such as PSALM and Napocor will also continue to benefit from strong government support, the credit rating firm said.
“State-owned power utilities in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and the Philippines will maintain their strategically important positions as dominant/monopolistic utilities and/or implementers of mandated policies over at least the outlook period. As such, we believe the respective governments will provide timely support to the utilities, if their viability is at risk,” Moody’s said.
Progress toward the implementation of consistent cost pass-through mechanisms in some economies will remain slow but Moody’s expects other factors to keep the industry stable.-- Riza T. Olchondra

Macquarie-led investment fund buys into Negros solar project:
Manila Bulletin - November 01, 2015

A Macquarie-led investment fund has bought into the 80-megawatt solar farm developments in Negros Island that had been spearheaded by Bronzeoak Philippines of the Zabaleta group.

This batch of the solar project acquisitions of the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI) covered the 32-megawall La Carlota and 48MW Manapla ventures in Negros Occidental which are under corporate vehicle Negros Island Solar Power (IslaSol).

On record, PINAI is under the management of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA). It lists the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and APG Asset Management among its investors.

The La Carlota and Manapla projects “are currently under construction and scheduled for completion in early 2016,” developer Bronzeoak has noted.

This is already the second solar venture buy-in that the Macquarie-led investment firm had engaged in. The first one was in the San Carlos solar farm that was also developed by Bronzeoak.

“The deal brings PINAI’s Philippine solar assets to 125 megawatts, adding 80MW to its first 45MW transaction,” the Zabaleta-led firm said.

The parties have not revealed the specific transaction amount as well as the details of the projects’ equity purchase.

Bronzeoak has just indicated that it “continues to be a shareholder and the operator of the (IslaSol) power plant.”

The solar farm projects are eligible for availment of feed-in-tariff (FIT) based on rates previously approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

According to Bronzeoak Philippines president Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, the acquisition of PINAI in the solar projects had been a manifestation of its “strong commitment to building the country’s clean energy infrastructure.”

The construction of the IslaSol project started August this year – and it is expected to top the ongoing solar race development which had been given the March 15, 2016 FIT availment cut-off timeframe by the government.

“When connected, the farms are anticipated to supply over 120,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of daytime peak power to the Luzon-Visayas grid,” Bronzeoak said.-- Myrna Velaso


Conergy clinches deal for 2 Negros solar plants:
Business World Online- October 15, 2015

GERMANY’S Conergy AG has closed a deal with a Visayan joint venture to build two new solar power plants in La Carlota and Manapla in Negros Occidental.

Alexander Lenz, president of Conergy’s Asia and Middle East unit, said during a media briefing yesterday that the added capacity of the two power plants would be sufficient to provide power to over 171,300 homes by 2016.

The contracts with Negros Island Solar Power Inc., or islaSol, brings Conergy’s installed capacity in the Philippines to 201 megawatts-peak (MWp), the maximum output of its photovoltaic power plants.

The combined 62 MWp capacity for islaSol comes in addition to the six other solar projects Conergy has closed previously, including 50 MWp in Tarlac, 13 MWp in Pampanga, 18 MWp in Bais, Negros, 15 MWp in Bulacan and 43 MWp at two locations in Luzon and the Visayas.

Negros Occidental’s islaSol is a joint venture between the Philippine Investment Alliance for Insfrastructure, a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure Management (Asia) Pty Ltd., and Bronzeoak Philippines, which develops and implements renewable energy projects.

Mr. Lenz said the expansion was important in driving solar energy’s role in coping with expectations of rising energy demand.

"With our international presence and extensive solar capabilities, customers like islaSol are able to leverage on our global resources and benefit from out economies of scale," he said.

The two new solar power projects are expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year. The first of the two new sites, in La Carlota, will have an installed capacity of 14 MWp, an extension of an 18-MWp solar power plant Conergy is currently building in the area. The company expects the new site to produce 20,631 megawatt hours of clean electricity and save 12,646 tons of carbon emissions. The plants, which spans 204,553 square meters, will generate capacity to power around 8,600 homes, the company said.

The site in Manapla will have an installed capacity of 48 MWp. The plant is located in a 634,514-square meter property and will generate 73,864 megawatt hours per year, equivalent to powering 30,777 households annually, based on company estimates. Conergy placed the plant to cut the country’s carbon footprint at 45,279 tons of carbon emissions.

Conergy’s completed solar power projects in the Philippines make the country fifth-largest among the 16 countries where it has exposure. But unlike number three Thailand where growth in capacity has stalled, solar power output in the Philippines has increased significantly, Mr. Lenz said. In Conergy’s list, the Philippines is next only to the United Kingdom, Germany, Thailand and the combined United States and Canada.

Mr. Lenz said there is scope for growth in solar power in the Philippines as 10% of its population still has no access to electricity.

In a statement, islaSol President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta said: "Our partnership with Conergy has contributed to the successful implementation of our solar projects and we are delighted to have them on board to continue the quality design and engineering for islaSol."

In Southeast Asia, Conergy has also closed new contracts in Thailand and Indonesia to bring its additional capacity in the region to 231 MWp in the past three months alone. -- Victor V. Saulon


Conergy awarded solar farm contract by Ayala-Bronzeoak venture MonteSol:
Business World Online - September 22, 2015

Monte Solar Energy, Inc. (MonteSol) awarded the contract to Conergy AG, according to a statement from the photovoltaic solution and service provider.

“Conergy will be responsible for the engineering and design, component procurement, and project management of the new plant,” the statement read.

It added that the solar farm -- to be located in Bais, Negros Occidental -- is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

The project, said Conergy, will occupy a 213,292-square-meter site and will generate some 24,205-megawatt-hours of electricity every year.

The project represents the maiden solar venture of the Ayala Group, which -- through AC Energy -- formally partnered with Bronzeoak earlier this month.

Bronzeoak -- controlled by the Zabaletas of Negros -- owns a 45-MW solar project in Negros Occidental, which is currently the country’s largest solar farm.

AC Energy and Bronzeoak aim to build the initial 18-MW valued at about P1.3 billion, with plans to expand this to as much as 40 MW.

In Conergy’s statement yesterday, MonteSol President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta said the project with AC Energy will be the latest addition to its solar portfolio of 202 MW currently operational or under construction.

“We are delighted to be working once again with Conergy to deliver the timely completion of this new project, which is now part of Bronzeoak’s new partnership with AC Energy,” Mr. Zabaleta was quoted in the statement as saying.

Alexander Lenz, president of Conergy for Asia & Middle East, for his part said: “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to further build on our already strong track record and once again demonstrate Conergy’s capabilities -- to provide the best combination of technology expertise, local and regional support and a proven ability to deliver on large and critical solar projects.”

“This new contract is a testament to Conergy’s continuing commitment to support the growth and development of solar energy in this market and to remain at the forefront of this industry’s development,” he added.

Conergy designed the 45-MW solar farm of San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc., whose managing shareholder is Bronzeoak.

Bronzeoak, through several subsidiaries, is also building more solar farms across Negros.

AC Energy is engaged mainly in the development of wind and coal projects.

Over the past three years, the Ayala-led power firm allotted an equity investment of around $500 million to develop various power generating projects.

These include the 19-MW expansion of the 33-MW Bangui wind farm in Ilocos, Norte -- which was done through Northwind Power Development Corp.

Through North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp., the company also owns an 81-MW wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

Macquarie-managed fund acquires SaCaSol:
Business World Online - September 18, 2015

A FUND managed by the Macquarie group has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol), whose farm was expanded last week to hit its maximum capacity of 45 megawatts.

“In doing so, SaCaSol goes from being the first, to also currently the largest solar power farm in the country,” the firm said in a statement on Friday.

The 70-hectare solar farm is located in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, which is becoming “the renewable energy center” of the Visayas region. It is also found within the 405-hectare San Carlos Economic Zone.

Inaugurated in May 2014, the solar farm is composed of around 175,000 panels. It provides electricity to over 100,000 homes and supplies daytime peak power to the Visayas Grid.

SaCaSol said the investors of Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI) fund, which is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, include the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Langoer Investments Holdings B.V., and Macquarie.

Meanwhile, it was SaCaSol’s previous shareholder ThomasLloyd CTI Asia -- along with the Bank of the Philippine Islands-which provided the financing for the construction of the plant.

Bronzeoak Philippines developed SaCaSol to meet the country’s target of 500 megawatts of solar power by March 2016. It remains a shareholder and operator.

“Bronzeoak has several other solar plants under construction, all of which are expected to be operational by March 2016,” SaCaSol said. -- Daphne J. Magturo


Ayala forays into solar with initial P1.3-B budget:
Business World Online- September 09, 2015

AYALA Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate, has finally decided to foray into solar energy -- extending its renewable energy projects beyond wind farms -- with an initial budget of P1.3 billion, it told the stock exchange yesterday.

The conglomerate, through wholly owned subsidiary AC Energy Holdings, Inc., said it is taking in as a partner Bronzeoak Clean Energy, Inc., builder of the 45-megawatt (MW) San Carlos Energy project -- the country’s first solar farm.

Together, the two groups will build an 18-MW solar power plant in Negros Oriental that is expected to be completed by March next year.

The budget for that is P1.3 billion, Ayala said in a disclosure, with a plan to expand the facility further to generate power of as much as 40 MW.

“AC Energy Holdings, Inc... signed on September 8, 2015 a Subscription and Shareholders’ Agreement with Bronzeoak Clean Energy, Inc., the investment arm of Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc... for the development, construction and operation of a solar power farm in Bais City, Negros Oriental,” the disclosure read.

A special purpose vehicle company, Monte Solar Energy, Inc. (MonteSol), will own and operate the project, according to the regulatory filing.

‘GOOD ENTRY PLATFORM’
Wednesday’s announcement signaled the Ayala group’s bold move to foray into solar power after earlier qualms of venturing into a business it said it still was studying and would wait out until the industry becomes competitive.

In July, AC Energy CEO John Eric T. Francia had said the group’s “aspiration is to get to a stage where solar becomes very competitive.”

“That’s in the medium to long-term for us instead of imminent,” Mr. Francia had told reporters then.

Much of the Ayala group’s energy venture in the past years were wind farms -- the Bangui farm in Ilocos Norte and another in Pagudpud also in northern Philippines.

AC Energy also owns coal projects.

Over the past three years, the Ayala-led power firm allotted an equity investment of around $500 million to develop various power generating projects.

In the disclosure yesterday, Mr. Francia was quoted as saying: “We are excited to pursue this opportunity and expand our renewable energy assets in line with our broader objective to create a balanced energy portfolio.”

“This project serves as a good entry platform for our investment in solar power, particularly as technology costs have dramatically improved over the past few years,” he added.

The Ayala group’s partner said the Negros project will boost its power portfolio to 202 MW.

“[T[he investment of AC Energy will only accelerate the ongoing rapid development of Negros,” Montesol President Xavier P. Zabaleta said.

Bronzeoak’s Negros Occidental solar facility was the first to avail of the premium rate for solar projects under the feed-in tariff scheme. Through several subsidiaries, Bronzeoak is also building more solar farms across Negros.

Ayala, apart from its investments in power, has interests in other key industries like real estate (Ayala Land, Inc.), banking (Bank of the Philippine Islands); water distribution (Manila Water Company, Inc.); and telecommunications (Globe Telecom, Inc.).-- Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano


500MW solar race may miss March 2016 deadline:
Manila Bulletin - August 03, 2015

The scale of commercial development of solar technology will likely miss the 500-megawatt target on the March 15, 2016 cut-off date set by government regulators.

This was indicated to the media by Department of Energy (DOE) director Mario Marasigan, explaining that one of the major hurdles had typically been on land acquisition for the location of the facilities.

“The race is ongoing…but conservatively, it might not reach 500MW on March 15, 2016, some projects might be delayed,” the energy official has noted.

Previously, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved additional capacity installation of solar developments that must be supported by feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives. It was increased by 450MW from just at 50MW originally.

There was a condition though that these developers must meet the March 15, 2016 ‘commercial operation declaration’ deadline so they can avail of the prescribed second wave of FIT at P8.69 per kWh. Failing that, the successive incentives will be set lower.

Marasigan has emphasized that many project sponsors are currently advancing construction and installation of their facilities, yet he stressed that “still, the industry concern is: when are they going to finish?”

He said that local approvals, primarily on location issues, have been gridlocks in project implementations.

Marasigan has cited in particular that a strip of property could delay a project in entirety if the landowner will not agree to a purchase arrangement.

“Solar installation is land-intensive, so even if there’s just one hectare that would have some issues, they could delay the development framework of projects,” he stressed.

The solar race, he said, had reportedly been on various stages of developments – and the 500MW could have been easily achieved without the side concerns.

There have been indications though that the 23MWexpansion of the San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol) project will likely make it again to this second wave of the solar development contest.

It was gathered that the technical evaluation team had already been deployed to validate and re-assess the project’s progress onward to targeted completion by the fourth quarter of this year.


ThomasLloyd sells stake in Philippine solar energy firm to Macquarie-led infra fund:
InterAksyon - June 23, 2015

MANILA – European asset management firm ThomasLloyd has sold its 60 percent stake in San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol) to the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI).

”ThomasLloyd today confirms the sale of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol) to PINAI,” ThomasLLoyd said in a statement.

The transaction transfers both its 60 percent ownership in the operational 22-megawatt (MW) solar farm and the near completed 23 MW solar farm in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

The company had not disclosed how much PINAI acquired the stake, but said it was advised by BPI Capital Inc. on the divestment.

However, ThomasLloyd will retain its stake in the proposed 32 MW solar project in La Carlota, Negros Occidental and the 48 MW solar farm in Manapla in Negros Occidental. Its local partner for the projects is Bronzeoak Philippines Inc.

This is PINAI’s second renewable energy venture, having funded the 81 Megawatt (MW) Caparispisan wind farm in Ilocos Norte. It owns 32 percent.

PINAI is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, while jointly financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Dutch pension fund asset manager APG and the Macquarie Group. --Philippine News Agancy


San Carlos Solar signs P500-million loan deal with BPI:
Business World Online- May 07, 2015

SAN CARLOS Solar Energy, Inc. (Sacasol) has obtained an additional P500 million worth of funding from a local lender to finance more projects, its parent firm announced in a statement.

ThomasLloyd Group said Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) will provide additional P500 million “to finance further solar power station construction.”

“With this transaction, BPI will have provided a total of P1.5 billion [to Sacasol] since July 2014,” the statement posted on the company’s Web site read.

Sacasol -- a joint venture between ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund and Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. -- currently owns and operates a 22-megawatt (MW) solar farm in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

The company is currently undertaking a two-phase expansion of this project, involving another 10-MW and 13-MW solar facilities.

In the pipeline are four more solar projects all in Negros Island. These are 32-MW plant in La Carlota City; a 33-MW farm in Manapla; a 30-MW facility Bais City; and a 50-MW project in San Carlos Economic Zone.

“BPI’s involvement will significantly advance the development of renewable energy in the Philippines, thereby contributing towards a form of energy based on sustainability, energy security and efficiency,” ThomasLoyd Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer T.U. Michael Sieg said in a statement.

ThomasLloyd Group Head for Project Finance Tony Coveney added that the funding “will allow timely completion of solar power stations already fully planned for the island of Negros, in the Visayas region of the Philippine archipelago.”

Don Mario Y. Dia, director at Bronzeoak Philippines, said: “We are thrilled to continue working with BPI towards meeting the energy needs of our country.”

Mr. Dia added the additional funding will specifically be used for the ongoing 23-MW expansion in San Carlos City and the new 32-MW plant in La Carlota City.

For his part, BPI Head for Corporate Client Segment Group Daniel G. Montecillo said: “This transaction highlights the bank’s commitment to supporting power generation in an environmentally friendly manner.”

The funds released by BPI to Sacasol form part of the bank’s financing of country’s first utility scale solar power plant.-- Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano

 

Renewables group Bronzeoak targets 320 megawatts in capacity:
Business World Online- March 22, 2015

BRONZEOAK Philippines, Inc. plans to put up more renewable energy facilities, with a target of bringing its total power generation portfolio to 320 megawatts (MW), a company official said recently.
President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, Jr. said the company is currently working on its first facilities utilizing solar and biomass technologies in San Carlos City.

The first two phases of the solar facility -- involving 13 MW and 9 MW units -- are already operational; while another 10 MW and 13 MW are undergoing development via San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc.

The company, through San Carlos Biopower, Inc., will start building the 20-MW plant in a 20-hectare (ha) property this year.

“It is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year,” said Mr. Zabaleta during the latest Asia CEO Forum in Pasay City.

“We are looking at further opportunities in the power sector,” said Mr. Zabaleta.

The official also bared plans to put up four more solar projects, two more biomass plants and one wind facility -- all on Negros Island.

In his presentation, Mr. Zabaleta said the second solar project will be built in 44-ha site in La Carlota City. It will have a total capacity of 32 MW.

A 33-MW solar farm will be constructed at a 45-ha site in the municipality of Manapla; and a 30-MW plant at a 53-ha site in Bais City.

The fifth solar project -- which will have a capacity of 50 MW -- will rise on a 60-ha property in San Carlos Economic Zone.

“The second solar project is already in construction. The next three are going through final financing [arrangements] right now,” said Mr. Zabaleta.

“These will go into construction in the next few months,” he added.

For biomass, Bronzeoak is planning a 25-MW plant on a 27-ha site in La Carlota City; and another plant with the same capacity at a 28-ha site in Manapla.

“These two other projects are in the final stages of planning. We’re starting the second one in the second half of this year and the third one in about a year from now,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

A 60-MW wind farm is also in the pipeline. This will likewise be located in San Carlos City.

These projects, once completed, will further cement Bronzeoak’s presence in the local power sector -- particularly in Negros Occidental.

Mr. Zabaleta noted that the company wants to have more capacity installed before the dry months of 2016.

He also added that the goal is not to make Negros Island the center for renewable energy development.

“I think the opportunity exists just as much elsewhere. We are in Negros not because it’s significantly more attractive but because it’s a reflection of where we are and where we do business,” he said.

“We don’t go far from home when there’s a big opportunity in the backyard,” he added.

Established in 2003, Bronzeoak is 70%-owned by Filipino investors.

The company completed a sugarcane-based ethanol and power cogeneration plant in 2008 -- which produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol and 60 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
-- Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano

Negros Occidental Solar Project Qualifies for Incentives:
Philippine Daily Inquirer - March 21, 2015

Zabaleta-led, European-funded San Carlos Solar Energy (Sacasol) is the first renewable energy developer to qualify for incentives via guaranteed energy rates under the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) system, according to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

ERC certificates indicate that Sacasol’s 13-megawatt (MW) Phase 1A and 9-MW Phase 1B plants in Negros Occidental are respectively “entitled to the Feed-in-Tariff rate of P9.68, subject to adjustment as may be approved by the Commission, from 15 May 2014 to until 14 May 2034.”

The certificates were issued on Feb. 16, 2015.

The issuance marks the beginning of Sacasol’s Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement (Repa) and its eligibility for incentives under the FIT system.

The other FIT applicants using biomass, wind, and hydro energy sources await their COCs, which should be issued in the coming months, ERC Commissioner Alfredo Non said on the sidelines of an energy forum.

Sacasol Phase IA and IB began their commercial operation in May and August 2014, respectively.

Since the commissioning of its renewable energy plant in May 2014, SaCaSol has received significant accolades from the industry. Named Green Company of the Year at the Asia CEO Awards for 2014 and Solar Power Project of the Year at the Asian Power Awards 2014, Sacasol has paved the way for solar energy development in the Philippines.

“An expansion of the solar park is currently underway in San Carlos, scheduled to bring the total capacity to 45 MW by the end of 2015. Furthermore, SaCaSol II (32 MW) and III (33 MW) are also under construction in Negros to help meet the country’s target of 500 MW of solar power by 2016,” said president Sech Zabaleta.

In addition, two other sites have been selected for installations totaling 80 MW, bringing BP’s solar portfolio to 190 MW. --Riza T. Olchondra

Roxas Holdings acquires 26.7% stake in ethanol firm:
Phil Star - March 19, 2015

MANILA, Philippines - A subsidiary of sugar group Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) has acquired a significant stake in the country’s second largest ethanol company for P420 million.

In a disclosure to the local bourse, RHI said Roxas Pacific Bioenergy Corp. had purchased on 26.7 percent stake in San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI) from the Zabaleta Group.

Renato C. Valencia, RHI president and chief executive officer, said the acquisition would allow “synergies and optimization of production capacities to achieve higher efficiencies.”

Both Roxas Pacific and SCBI are located in Negros Occidental where 60 percent of the country’s sugar is produced.

“We are excited to work with SCBI’s majority stockholder, Jimenez Group, and we look forward to contributing more to the industry,” said RHI chairman Pedro E. Roxas.

RHI is the largest integrated sugar business in the Philippines and is also into the ethanol business.
 
The company manages 100 percent of Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. in Nasugbu, Batangas, and Central Azucarera de la Carlota Inc. as well as Roxol Bioenergy Corp. in La Carlota, Negros Occidental.

SCBI, meanwhile, is among the three top bioethanol producers in the country. Bioethanol is produced using molasses or sugar juice.

RHI posted a 90 percent decline in its net income in the first quarter of its fiscal year ending December 2014 as its Batangas milling operations were delayed pending maturity of sugarcane.
--Richmond S. Mercurio


Bronzeoak working on USD 233m of Philippine solar plants - report:
SeeNews Renewable - February 23, 2015

February 23 (SeeNews) - Bronzeoak Philippines Inc expects to complete this year a trio of Philippine solar parks for a total cost of USD 232.8 million (EUR 204.6m), a company official told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The renewable energy projects developer has set up a joint venture with a partner, whose name has not yet been disclosed, to build a 55-MW solar power station in the province of Negros Occidental. The total investment for this project is estimated at some USD 115.5 million, director Don Mario Y Dia has said, as cited by the newspaper on Monday.

The JV, called San Carlos Sun Power Inc, is seen to secure a notice to proceed (NTP) with that project in April or May, Dia added.

At the same time, Bronzeoak Philippines' venture with asset manager Thomas Lloyd Group is working on a USD-48.3-million scheme to expand the existing 22-MW Sacasol 1 solar farm by 23 MW. Also, the Philippine company is installing a 33-MW solar plant in La Carlota for a total cost of USD 69 million.

The firm’s pipeline also includes the 18-MW Sacasol 2 and 25-MW Sacasol 3 projects in San Carlos. They will be developed later, according to the report.-- Ivan Shumkov


Power spot market ready to integrate renewable energy:
PhilSTAR.com - February 15, 2015

BURGOS, Ilocos Norte, Philippines – The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), said it is now ready to integrate renewable energy (RE) resources, a move that may lead to lower power rates.

“PEMC has been relentless in realizing its mandates under the RE Act and we have expressly lent out our support through various stakeholder events,” said PEMC president Melinda Ocampo.

The Renewable Energy Law  of 2008 provides that all intermittent resources and feed-in-tariff qualified resources are entitled to “must dispatch” and “priority dispatch,” respectively, subject to the issuance of qualification and registration guidelines.

“This means that eligible RE resources as identified under the RE Act shall be given preference in the dispatch scheduling with the remaining obligations of these resources to submit their projected outputs,” PEMC said.

Ocampo said as a result of the preferential dispatch, eligible RE
resources would be given priority to inject to the grid as price
takers, displacing expensive fuels, which may possibly result in lower prices in the spot market as observed by other power exchanges.

Since 2012, PEMC has been crafting the appropriate framework for the implementation of the “must dispatch” and “priority dispatch” of RE resources, in accordance with the purposes of the WESM rules to encourage the use of renewable sources of energy.

In 2014, the registered capacity of RE at the WESM accounted for 428 megawatts while conventional energy accounted for 14,788 MW. This is expected to increase to 503.9 MW for RE and 15,142 MW for conventional sources.

The Department of Energy (DOE), for its part, has been pushing for the development of the RE projects in the country.

As of last month, the department has already endorsed 14 renewable energy projects to the ERC as feed-in-tariff (FIT) eligible.

The move is part of efforts to promote renewable energy in the country.

The projects – five biomass facilities, three hydropower plants, two solar plants and four wind farms – have also been issued certificates of endorsements (COE) and have a total FIT capacity of 304.051 MW, according to the DOE.

The biomass projects given COEs are: the 19-MW bagasse fired
cogeneration facility of Green Future Innovations with FIT
capacity of 3 MW; the 14.8-MW Montalban landfill methane recovery and power generation facility of Montalban Methane
Power Corp., with FIT capacity of 2.175 MW; the 1.2-MW Payatas
landfill methane recovery and power generation facility of Pangea Green Energy Philippines, with FIT capacity of 0.876 MW; the 3.6 MW biomass gasification plant of Lucky PPH International with a FIT capacity of 3.60 MW; and the 24-MW San Jose City rice husk-fired biomass plant of San Jose City I Power Corp. with FIT capacity of 9.9 MW.

The hydropower projects that received COEs are: the Irisan 1
hydroelectric plant of Hedcor Inc. with FIT capacity of 3.8 MW; the Tudaya 2 hydroelectric plant, also by Hedcor with FIT capacity of 7 MW; and the Commonal Uddiawan hydroelectric power plant of Smith Bell Mini Hydro Corp. with FIT capacity of 1.8 MW.

For solar projects, the DOE has issued COEs to the San Carlos Power project Phase A of San Carlos Solar Energy with FIT capacity of 13 MW and San Carlos Power project Phase B of the same company with FIT capacity of 9 MW.

Wind projects that received COEs are: the Bangui Bay wind power project Phase 3 of Northwind Power Development Corp. with FIT capacity of 18.9 MW; the Burgos wind project Phase 1 of Energy Development Corp. with FIT capacity of 87 MW; the Burgos wind project Phase 2, also of EDC with FIT capacity of 63 MW and the Caparispisan wind power project of North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. with FIT capacity of 81 MW.-- Iris C. Gonzales

DOE endorses 14 RE projects for FIT eligibility:
ABS-CBN Online.com - January 21, 2015

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Energy (DOE) has endorsed 14 renewable energy projects to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as eligible for the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

The move is part of efforts to promote renewable energy (RE) in the country.

The projects – five biomass facilities, three hydropower plants, two solar plants and four wind farms – have also been issued certificates of endorsements (COE) and have a total FIT capacity of 304.051 megawatts, according to the DOE.

FIT is a set of incentives given to RE players. Under this system, RE companies are entitled to the following FIT rates: P9.68 per kwh for solar power, P8.53 per kwh for wind and P5.90 per kwh for run-of-river hydroelectric power.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla is encouraging the development of more RE projects, saying the application process has been shortened to nearly 45 days from 100 days previously.

He said since last year, the DOE has been increasing the number of projects given COEs.

“This trend reflects the behavior of the energy sector as well as the entrance of new technologies that simplifies the construction of RE facilities,” Petilla said.

The DOE said with the acceleration in the processing period, more private companies are expressing interest in developing potential RE areas in the country.

The biomass projects given COEs are the 19-MW bagasse-fired cogeneration facility of Green Future Innovations Inc. with FIT capacity of three MW; the 14.8-MW Montalban landfill methane recovery and power generation facility of Montalban Methane Power Corp., with FIT capacity of 2.175 MW; the 1.2-MW Payatas landfill methane recovery and power generation facility of Pangea Green Energy Philippines Inc., with FIT capacity of 0.876 MW; the 3.6-MW biomass gasification plant of Lucky PPH International Inc. with a FIT capacity of 3.60 MW and the 24-MW San Jose City rice husk-fired biomass plant of San Jose City I Power Corp. with FIT capacity of 9.9 MW.

The hydropower projects that received COEs are the Irisan 1 hydroelectric plant of Hedcor Inc. with FIT capacity of 3.8 MW; the Tudaya 2 hydroelectric plant, also by Hedcor with FIT capacity of seven MW; and the Commonal Uddiawan hydroelectric power plant of Smith Bell Mini Hydro Corp. with FIT capacity of 1.80 MW.

For solar projects, the DOE has issued COEs to the San Carlos power project Phase A of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. with FIT capacity of 13 MW and San Carlos power project Phase B of the same company with FIT capacity of nine MW.

Wind projects that received COEs are the Bangui Bay wind power project Phase 3 of Northwind Power Development Corp. with FIT capacity of 18.9 MW; the Burgos Wind Project Phase 1 of Energy Development Corp. with FIT capacity of 87 MW; the Burgos wind project Phase 2, also of EDC with FIT capacity of 63 MW and the Caparispisan wind power project of North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. with FIT capacity of 81 MW.

Petilla said the DOE would continue to monitor the FIT applications alongside its campaign for sustainable development.-- Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star


DOE sees 5,000-MW capacity addition by 2020:
Manila Bulletin - January 3, 2015

While most of the duration of the Aquino administration had been fraught with power supply crisis – first in Mindanao, then Luzon grid – the Department of Energy (DOE) has vouched that it was able to lay down the foundation for the implementation of more than 5,000 megawatts of power projects until year 2020.

In a year-end report it has sent to the media, the department noted that “power generation across the nation remains robust with 319MW of committed projects being recorded for the year alone (setting 2014 as reference period).”

The DOE added that “from 2014-2020, the country can look forward to an additional 5,198.40MW of power projects.”

With many of the projects already under construction or inching close to completing other deliverables, the department has emphasized that its job is generally confined to “closely monitoring the completion of power infrastructures in the country.”

The prevailing investment terrain in the power sector is private sector-driven, but the government’s grip on policy matters as well as approval processes for projects remained strategic and all-important.

In fact many of the projects that had been installed had been due to impediments in project approvals or on policy enforcements that had not been clear to investors and their lenders when assessed on the viability of capital outlays.

Beyond the capacity additions that will address the country’s electricity needs for baseload capacity, the department also reveled on a “mixed bag” of achievements – although it considered blitz on renewable energy (RE) projects as its major accomplishment.

“2014 is a banner year for RE with the commissioning of large-scale power plants throughout the country,” the energy department stressed.

It cited the commercial commissioning of solar and wind power projects – namely the 22MW San Carlos solar power project in Negros; as well as the 19MW Northwind expansion, 150MW Burgos and 81MW Caparispisan wind power projects in Ilocos Norte; plus the 54MW San Lorenzo wind facility in Guimaras in the Visayas.

The signing flurry of RE contracts also held the department as counterparty to prospective on-grid capacities of 5,396.82MW – if all of them would viably reach eventual commercial development.

If taken on the whole, the DOE has emphasized that it so far awarded 638 RE projects “with a total potential capacity of 10,068.031 megawatts.”-- Myrna Velasco


Conergy to develop two more plants for San Carlos Solar:
BusinessWorld Online - November 24, 2014

The company said it was awarded a new contract “to build two solar parks in Negros Occidental.”

“Conergy will be the turnkey contractor for these two projects, responsible for the overall planning, engineering, design, project delivery as well as the component supply for the two power plant,” the statement read.

Conergy added that it is collaborating with SCHEMA Konsult, Inc., its local partner, for the construction works.

“These two new solar plants will add a total of 41 megawatts of solar capacity to the Visayas grid after their completion in June next year,” Conergy said.

The projects involve the 23-MW expansion of Sacasol’s 22-MW solar farm in San Carlos City; and a new 18-MW solar facility in the municipality of La Carlota.

Conergy said the first project will generate 34.3 gigawatt-hours per year and could power 14,300 households. It will be located adjacent to the existing facility that started operations last May.

Sacasol is joint venture between Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. and ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund.

“Sacasol is moving ahead with its expansion and is excited to be doing so with Conergy, with whom it has worked well in the past,” Bronzeoak Philippines President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, Jr. said in the same statement

“With the right partners, the projects can be delivered on time to meet the country’s growing energy needs,” he added.

For his part, Conergy Asia & Middle East President Alexander Lenz said: “We are very encouraged by the increasing recognition of the relevance of solar power in the Philippines as more developers and project sponsors ramp up their investments in utility-scale solar to meet the growing power demand in the country.”

“These two additional projects with Sacasol, which triples their solar energy capacity, not only underscore solar’s growing acceptance and strong momentum in the country but also demonstrate the improving economics of solar in the Philippines.”

Bronzeoak Philippines was established in 2003 to engage in renewable energy development.

It owns and operates an ethanol facility and cogeneration plant, through San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc., that produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol, 40 million kilograms of sugar syrup and 60 million kilowatt- hours of electricity every year.

Its partner, ThomasLloyd Group is a European global investment banking and investment management group dedicated to projects involving renewable energy and other clean technologies.

Meanwhile, Conergy is one of the world’s largest solar companies, specializing in the design, finance, building and operation of solar systems.

Headquartered in Hamburg, the company is privately-held and majority-owned by Miami-based asset management firm Kawa Capital Management, Inc. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

Top companies, executives feted at Asia CEO Awards 2014:
Business Mirror - November 13, 2014

IN celebration of the Philippines as a global economic powerhouse, outstanding individuals, business leaders and institutions operating locally and throughout the region were recognized on Wednesday during the gala night of the Asia CEO Awards 2014, held at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Entertainment City, Parañaque.

Impressed by the sterling credentials of this year’s winners, who have contributed significantly to the country’s continued progress, Asia CEO Awards Chairman Richard Mills told the BusinessMirror they plan to expand the annual recognition to enterprise and team leaders in Southeast Asia, in time for the upcoming regional economic integration by next year.

“The quality and diversity of companies that [made it to this year’s edition] are encouraging [us] to display them to the world,” he said. “We want people in the region to start thinking of the Philippines as a premier business destination for the entire region. So we plan to have a regional award that will promote that objective in peoples’ minds.”

While he conceded that such remains in the drawing board, he noted that next year’s awarding ceremonies “will probably include Regional Company of the Year and Regional Chief Executive Officer of the Year awards.”

The theme of this year’s Asia CEO Awards, “Emerging Asia,” he said, is a testament that the Philippines is “determined to play a big role in the global and regional economy,” especially at a time when the 10 member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will converge as a single economic community by 2015.

“It’s definitely a very exciting time for the Philippines,” Mills said. “You have very strong Filipino companies and international companies run by Filipinos doing great jobs here.”

Now on its fifth year, the Asia CEO Awards promotes leadership excellence and team-building within organizations, and displays Filipino business accomplishment to the world’s business leaders.

Among the 12 award categories given this year, SM Prime Holdings Inc. won the top most accolade of Executive Leadership Team of the Year.

The SM Group founder and Forbes’s richest Filipino, Henry Sy Sr., was feted with special citation “Lifetime Contributor of the Year” for the private sector alongside Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. for the public sector.

Other category winners included El Nido Resorts as Hospitality Destination of the Year; Envirosite Corp. as Technology Company of the Year; and Philex Mining Corp. as Corporate Governance Company of the Year.

P.J. Lhuillier Inc. was awarded CSR Company of the Year, while San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. was named Green Company of the Year.

The Young Leader of the Year was awarded to KMC MAG Group Managing Director Michael McCullough. Lars Wittig, country manager of Regus Philippines, was honored as Expatriate Executive of the Year; and Roberto Juanchito Bispo, president of First Metro Investment Corp., was named as Global Filipino Executive of the Year.

Generika Drugstore was named Most Innovative Company of the Year; Fluor Daniel Inc.-Philippines the Quality Company of the Year; and Smart Communications Inc., Top Employer of the Year.

The awards were presented by SPi Global, Smart Communications, SHORE Solutions, Security Bank, PLDT Alpha Enterprise, Philippine Airlines, Oracle, NEC, Meralco, KPMG, Jones Lang LaSalle, FirstCarbon Solutions and Capital One. -- Roderick L. Abad


RE firm invests $90M in 20-MW biomass plant:
INQUIRER.net - November 3, 2014

Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., the leading player in solar power projects in the Philippines, is gearing up for another renewable energy (RE) investment thrust—this time in biomass power.

The company’s board of directors approved a $90-million investment for a 20-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Negros Occidental. The facility will use sugarcane farm waste as feedstock to help boost the income of farmers in the area, said Bronzeoak director Don Mario Dia.

The biomass venture will be undertaken by San Carlos BioPower Inc., a joint venture of Bronzeoak Philippines Inc. and European asset management firm ThomasLloyd Group.

San Carlos BioPower began work in April 2013. Equipment installation should start around April 2015 and development could take up to 24 months, Dia said.

The biomass project will be built alongside an ethanol facility of San Carlos Bioenergy, and near the solar power facilities being undertaken by another joint venture of Bronzeoak and ThomasLloyd Group, San Carlos Solar Energy Inc.

Bronzeoak and ThomasLloyd Group have already completed the first phase of their solar power lineup with a 22-MW facility in Negros Occidental and are expanding through future builds. Their partnership on biomass power covers four projects in the Philippines: the San Carlos BioPower project; the $114-million 25-MW South Negros BioPower project; the $130-million 29.99-MW Central Tarlac BioPower project; and the $114-million 24.99-MW North Negros Biopower project, which is still up for financial closing.

ThomasLloyd Group chair and CEO T.U. Michael Sieg said that the firm’s investments were all committed through the ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund.

Once completed, the facility would begin delivering 140 million kWh to the high growth Visayas grid.

The Visayas grid’s power supply is wearing thin and Negros Occidental is presently importing 80 percent of its power requirement from different power plants in Cebu province.

According to the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the province itself needs more electricity to support its expanding manufacturing, retail and real estate sectors. -- Riza T. Olchondra


Bronzeoak, Thomas Lloyd start solar power plant expansion:
INQUIRER.net - October 31, 2014

San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (Sacasol), a joint venture between Bronzeoak Philippines Inc. and European asset management firm Thomas Lloyd Group, is investing $62 million in expanding its first solar power project in Negros island.

Bronzeoak director Don Mario Y. Dia said in a briefing that Sacasol was expanding its first project (called Sacasol 1), which currently has 22MW of solar capacity (built at a cost of about $46 million), with another 23MW that will cost $62 million. In total, Sacasol 1 has a capacity of 45MW.

The company will issue the notice to proceed with its 23-MW expansion on Nov. 3 to Conergy, which is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, but is privately held and majority owned by Miami based asset management firm Kawa Capital Management, Inc.

The second unit, called Sacasol 2, will have a capacity of 18MW. A third unit, Sacasol 3, is set to be developed with a capacity of 25MW at a later time.

“The high level of support from the community and local government of San Carlos deserves credit for the plant’s quick implementation,” said Jose Maria T. Zabaleta.

The Visayas is seen to have potential for an economic boom but needs infrastructure support, particularly power generating facilities. The Thomas Lloyd Group and Bronzeoak said this created an attractive opportunity for solar development on Negros Island. The San Carlos Ecozone location also happens to be situated at the right coordinates for maximum solar radiation.

Bronzeoak, established in 2003, is a leader in the development and implementation of renewable energy projects in the Philippines, working with a broad range of international partners and investors for its ventures.

It has gathered vast experience through successful clean energy production and in 2006, completed the first sugarcane, ethanol and power cogeneration plant in Asia.

Since then, the company has expanded by developing several new renewable energy power plants to help achieve the country’s goals of energy independence and sustainability.

Bronzeoak has further diversified its business by pursuing other renewable technologies and continues to develop projects beyond the biomass sector and traditional sphere of the industry.

Thomas Lloyd is a leading global investment banking and investment management group, solely dedicated to the renewable energy sector in Asia.

The company portfolio includes Capital Raising, M&A and Corporate Finance for private and public companies, as well as project financing and management for project developers, and asset management, wealth management and funds for private customers and institutional investors. -- Riza T. Olchondra


More off-grid projects for San Carlos:
Bunesiness World Online - October 7, 2014
SAN CARLOS Solar Energy, Inc. will undertake more off-grid solar installations following the inauguration of its first such project at a school in Negros Occidental.

In a statement, the renewable energy developer said it is pushing for the electrification of schools located in areas not connected to the grid -- specifically those on the islands of Negros and Leyte.

The first project -- which was provided for Camaniagan Elementary School in Barangay Prosperidad, San Carlos City -- utilized a ground mounted installation within the campus.

The facility has 24 panels with total capacity of 6,000 Watt-peak. In addition, batteries were fitted to store the electricity generated by the project.

Installation started in April and ran for 12 weeks, the company said, adding that it was officially inaugurated late last month.

“Our objective is to institutionalize the community’s sustainable use of the solar panel, making it an instrumental component in energy distribution to the isolated regions of our country,” said San Carlos Solar President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, Jr.

The company intends to install a similar project at a school in Leyte.

“If successfully implemented… this could further expand into other barangays and provinces across the country, making solar power an essential tool in education of underprivileged Filipino children,” the statement read.

San Carlos Solar is a joint venture between Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. and ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund.

Last January, Bronzeoak and ThomasLloyd provided $100,000 in funding to a local foundation for the electrification of the Negros Occidental school.

San Carlos Solar is behind the P1.9-billion 22-MW solar power project in San Carlos City.

The first phase of the project, involving a 13-MW plant, started operations last May, while the remaining 9 MW is expected to be operational in the coming months.

The company said the same team responsible for the project implemented the installation of the solar facility in Negros Occidental.

Conergy AG provided the photovoltaic modules for the facility, while the overall project management was handled by Bronzeoak Philippines and Schema Consult.

The joint venture also intends to build another 18-MW solar facility worth around P1.8 billion in the municipality of La Carlota in the same province.

Bronzeoak Philippines was established in 2003 to engage in renewable energy development in the country.

It owns and operates an ethanol facility and cogeneration plant, through San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc., that produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol, 40 million kilograms of sugar syrup and 60 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year.

Meanwhile, ThomasLloyd Group is a European investment banking and investment management group dedicated to projects involving renewable energy and other clean technologies. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

7 firms care for 3Ps: People, planet, profit:
Philippine Daily Inquirer – October 6, 2014

Somewhere near the famed underground river in Palawan is a luxury beach resort mostly powered by its own solar and wind farms. It has basins that catch rainwater, wastewater recycling and climate-friendly architecture. Out there somewhere in Ilocos Norte is a pig farm with tunnel ventilation—pretty much like large air-conditioned pens where its herd can grow faster and healthier—powered by energy generated from the manure of the same animals.

Such “green” companies do exist in the Philippines and are among the seven honored for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy at the recently concluded Energy Smart Forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP). Other awardees include an energy-efficient cold storage chain operator, a shopping mall that upgraded its heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system to cut electricity consumption and three firms involved in the clean energy business.

“With the Energy Smart Forum and the Sustainable Energy Finance Awards, we want to show that everyone has a role to play in raising public awareness and promoting the proper use of energy, and in encouraging investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean technologies and processes,” said ECCP executive vice president Martial Beck.

Cold storage chain developer and operator Glacier Refrigerated Services Inc., Manuela Corp.’s Starmall Alabang and Jeco Development Corp., developer and operator of Sheridan Beach Resort & Spa in Palawan, bagged the top plums in the energy efficiency category. For the renewable energy category, Ilocos Norte pig farm operator Venvi Development Corp. shared the honor with renewable energy firms San Carlos Energy Inc., San Jose City iPower Corp. and Sunwest Water and Electric Co. (Suweco).

The awardees were selected based on the actual implementation of projects that have reduced energy consumption or contributed to energy generation, innovation and commitment to sustainability and the potential for replication and success-story dissemination. The reduction in greenhouse emissions from these energy projects is equivalent to removing 226,000 cars from the country’s roads in a year.

All these “green projects were bankrolled by two of the country’s leading banks—Bank of the Philippine Islands and Banco de Oro Unibank—under a partnership with International Finance Corp. Under this program called “Sustainable Energy Financing,” about P19 billion has so far been released to fund projects that help reduce greenhouse emissions by a million metric tons a year.

BPI, for its part, so far has P12 billion and served nearly 150 clients under the SEF program of IFC, BPI president Cezar Consing said. BPI provided financial muscle to four of the seven EnergySmart awardees: Glacier, Jeco, Venvi and San Carlos Solar Energy.

“These four companies have proven that people, planet and profit go hand in hand. They have found the formula that all of us must find if we are to remain relevant in this century,” Consing said.

Sy-Coson said BDO was committed to fund environment-friendly projects in the country.

In a phone interview, BDO senior executive vice president Walter Wassmer said BDO had so far approved $130-million loan disbursement for renewable energy projects, mostly biomass and hydro, under the SEF. This is on top of $60 million worth of energy efficiency projects in the pipeline, he said.

Manuela was honored for the HVAC retrofit of Starmall Alabang, which is now saving the shopping mall developer about P3 million in electricity billing per month.

San Jose iPower, based in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, combined the resources of 26 rice millers to build a 12-megawatt power plant that feeds on rice husk.

“It was done by a group of rice millers who banded together to put up power plant using their rice husk,” Wassmer said.

While many other rice malls have put up biomass plants to generate power for their own use, Wassmer said, this is the first time rice millers have teamed up to generate power for export to the grid.

Utility operator Suweco was honored for its 8-MW run-of-the-river hydropower plant in Villasiga Bugasong, Antique which feeds on Paliuan River. Run-of-river hydro is considered one of the most environment friendly renewable source of energy. It does not cause social problems due to submergence of lands by water as only a diversion-type of structure is used in lieu of a huge dam.

“They are getting into hydropower and thus providing cheap power to cooperatives in areas where they operate,” Wassmer said.

“Green” resort

Jeco’s 95-room Sheridan Resort is located in Sabangan, Palawan, gateway to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. This national park is a Unesco World Heritage Site and, in 2012, was voted by the global community as one of the new seven wonders of the world, for being the longest navigable subterranean river.

“Our location is quite far from the city. We don’t have any electricity. There is no power plant supporting our place. So what we did is, we have our solar panels and we have our wind turbines,” Sheridan managing director Jacqueline Tan said in an interview at the sidelines of the EnergySummit.

The turbines cover about 70 to 80 percent of Sheridan’s requirements. But the resort also has back-up generators during the rainy days when the solar plant cannot produce or when there is scarce wind to power the wind turbines. The resort also has a catch basin for rainwater and a water recycling system in place.

Sheridan borrowed P240 million from BPI to invest in these “green” initiatives, but has already repaid the loan, Tan said. “Initial cost is high but, in the long run it will pay off,” Tan said, estimating payback at two to three years.

Asked how much savings these initiatives have translated to, Tan said: “It’s not just the water. We have electricity to supply the resort. We use LED lighting. Our air-conditioners are all using inverters. We have green landscape features and architecture, so we don’t use air-conditioning in our hallways. So if you combine these, it’s quite a big amount,” she said.
“They are getting into hydropower and thus providing cheap power to cooperatives in areas where they operate,” Wassmer said.

Energy efficient

“Essentially, the business of raising pigs is the business of converting pigs into meat in the most efficient way. When you grow pigs like humans, you want them to be comfortable and healthy because those are the components that make them grow faster and healthy,” Venvi chair and chief executive officer Hilario Valdez said in an interview.
Venvi’s 2-year-old pig farm in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte produces piglets from high-quality “inahin” or mother pigs, selling the offspring mostly to breeders.
The farm, described by Consing as the “cleanest” pig farm in the country, nurtures the parent pigs in a climate-controlled facility with tunnel ventilation to optimize their generic potential. It has 1,300 of these mother pigs at present, which will increase to 1,900 this year and further to 2,600 in mid-2015. These mother pigs reproduce at an average frequency of 2.5 times a year and each produces an average of 12.8 live offspring.
But apart from keeping a herd of “happy” pigs, what anchored Venvi’s award is its waste-to-fuel initiative.
“The manure of pigs, we convert them into energy. We don’t dump any of our waste into the river or [elsewhere] outside the facility. The manure goes to a digester, generates methane gas which we use to power our generator to supply the electrical requirement of the facility. The wastewater is separated and put back into the system,” Valdez said, noting that 65 percent of fuel requirements were covered by this waste-to-fuel system.
“The problem with building a facility like this is, it’s not cheap: It really requires full commitment,” Valdez said, noting that a conventional piggery of the same scale would likely require only less of what Venvi has invested.
“But the key is, the greater the efficiency, the greater the payback.”
Glacier, a business unit of Phil-Nippon Kyoei Corp. and Exergy Phils. Corp., develops and operates a chain of cold storage facilities to help the farm sector manage their perishable goods. It has a facility in FTI Taguig and Quezon City, with respective storage capacity of three million and nine million kilos of meat.
“I’ve always perceived that, in the next 10 years, energy and food will be the vital challenge worldwide. So we started building cold storage facilities eight years ago in order to produce enabling positive environment for the farmers so they can be more profitable. It’s a matter of linking the farm to the plate,” said Arturo Yan, president of Phil-Nippon and Exergy.
A cold storage facility is like a big freezer that maintains products at a certain temperature, which means that high energy consumption makes profitability challenging.
“The only way to do it is to make it efficient,” Yan said, noting that the company had thus constructed a plant with the right design and right capacity and maintained the right activities and warehousing facilities. The company recently acquired another storage facility at the Duty-Free complex in Parañaque, and the next stage is to create smaller facilities in new areas like Iloilo, Bicol and Cagayan.

Also, Glacier has ongoing projects to put up solar panels on top of its roofs, thereby generating about 10 percent of internal requirements. Electricity accounts for 45 percent of Glacier’s cash flow and, after investing in energy-efficient initiatives, payback is more or less after five years, Yan said.

Clean energy

San Carlos Solar Energy recently switched on the 22-megawatt solar farm in Negros Occidental. The solar farm, developed by Bronze Oak Philippines in partnership with a Thomas Lloyd fund, is the first large-scale, commercially financed solar power plant in the country.

Bronze Oak has been in the clean energy business in the Philippines for the last 10 years, having built the country’s first bioethanol plant before going into biomass and solar power generation.

Jose Ma. Zabaleta Jr., president of San Carlos Solar Energy and Bronze Oak Philippines, said the group is now working with BPI to expand capacity not just in Negros but also throughout Luzon. The group wants to have a solar power plant capacity of 150 to 200 megawatts while, on the biomass side, an additional 50 megawatts capacity is planned, on top of 20 megawatts under construction. For solar, total cost of the target capacity of at least 150 megawatts is $300 million, about 60 to 70 percent of which is expected to be funded through bank borrowings.

While the cost of solar power is more expensive than a traditional coal-fired plant, Zabaleta said having solar capacity in the middle of the day when people are up and running would help cut the country’s dependence on diesel generators that augment power supply at peak hours. He noted simulations from the National Renewable Energy Board showing the effect of increasing solar capacity during the day when the power is needed. Results showed that the average cost of spot electricity prices declined due to less discharge of diesel.

After 2015, IFC is considering plans to expand the SEF beyond energy efficiency and renewable energy financing and include lending for water and resource efficiency under a broader program called “Sustainable Climate Finance.”

“The rapid growth of the Philippine economy has highlighted the need for adequate energy supply and efficiency in energy use,” said IFC country representative Jesse Ang. “This issue will take on added urgency when the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations begins next year. It is imperative for the Philippines to improve its supply of reliable and affordable power to help Philippine companies brace for tougher competition as a result of the integration.”--- Doris C. Dumlao

Meet the movers and shakers of Asia’s thriving power industry at the Asian Power Awards 2014:
Asian Power – 
September 11, 2014

The Oscars of the power industry is now on its 10th year.
Over a hundred executives and key industry players gathered yesterday for the awards night held at Shangri-la Hotel Kuala Lumpur. This year’s awards recognized the best projects in seventeen categories. 
Nominations were judged by John Yeap, Partner, Head of Energy – Asia at Pinsent Masons; John Goss, Managing Director of Ceejay International Ltd; and Andrew Bedford, Global Function Leader of KBC Advanced Technology Pte Ltd.
According to Asian Power publisher Tim Charlton, “It has been ten years since we first organized the Asian Power Awards, and we have witnessed tremendous growth in the region in the past 10 years. Tonight we are here to recognize the best achievements and projects as well as name the key players who bested others in a drive for efficiency and productivity in the power sector.”
Sarawak Energy CEO Datuk Torstein Dale Sjøtveit bagged the coveted CEO of the Year award for his outstanding work in one of Malaysia’s leading power firms.
“I am honoured to have been able to lead Sarawak Energy in this period of great transformation. We acknowledge that there is a lot more to be done and an even bigger responsibility that comes our way. This award is a much appreciated acknowledgement of our achievements so far and I’m sure it will drive us to greater heights,” he stated.
The full list of winners is available below:

Solar Power Project of the Year
• Gold - Pratapgarh Solar Power Project, ICML powered by Integrated Coal Mining Limited
• Silver – Sacasol powered by OWL Group
• Bronze - Solar Photovoltaic Commercial Rooftop Project powered by Thai Solar Energy Public Co., Ltd.

Biomass Power Project of the Year
• Gold - Korea Southern Power Company Limited ‘s Namjeju Bio-fuel Oil Power Plant
• Silver - Emerson Process Management Asia Pacific Private Limited’s Sangnam District Heating and Cooling Plant, Korea District Heating Corp

Wind Power Project of the Year 
• Gold – Jeneponto 1 powered by Indo Wind Power Holdings Pte. Ltd.

Coal Power Project of the Year
• Gold - Haldia Energy Limited’s 2 X 300 MW Thermal Power Project, Haldia, East Medinipur, West Bengal, India
• Silver - Taiwan Power Company’s New Coal Ash Materials Applied to Coastal Construction of Taichung Thermal Power Plant
• Bronze – Victaulic’s Manjung 4, Malaysia

Gas Power Project of the Year
• Gold - District Heat Conversion of KOWEPO Seoinchon GTCC powered by Korea Western Power Co,. Ltd.
• Silver - EGAT Chana 2 combined cycle power plant in Southern Thailand powered by Siemens
• Bronze - First Combined-Cycle Power Plant (“CCPP”) in Singapore Fully Fuelled by LNG powered by PacificLight Power Pte Ltd

Fast-Track Power Plant of the Year
• Gold - APR Energy’s Kyaukse Power Project (Myanmar)
• Silver – Siemens’ "KOSPO Andong Combined Cycle Plant in South Korea"
• Bronze – Victaulic’s Manjung 4, Malaysia

Environmental Upgrade of the Year
• Gold - Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd., for relocating an entire combined cycle power plant
• Silver - Sesa Sterlite Limited for retrofitting of electrostatic precipitator to hybrid electrostatic precipitator
• Bronze - Taiwan Power Company for applying new coal ash materials for the coastal construction of Taichung Thermal Power Plant

Transmission & Distribution Project of the Year
• Gold - CLP Power Hong Kong Limited’s Chun Yat Street 132kV Substation
• Silver - Alstom Grid Pte Ltd.’s Smart Digital Substation in Meralco, Philippines
• Bronze - Taiwan Power Company’s Da-An Extra High Voltage Substation Construction Projects

Power Plant Upgrade of the Year
• Gold - Siemens for the successful performance of inspections and overhauls for six units within 15 months in First Gen Santa Rita and San Lorenzo plants
• Silver - Korea Western Power Co,. Ltd. for the district heat conversion of KOWEPO Seoinchon GTCC
• Bronze - Emerson Process Management Asia Pacific Private Limited for their work on China Nan Yang Yahekou Power Plant

Innovative Power Technology of the Year
Gold - Alstom Grid Pte Ltd. for their Smart Digital Substation in Meralco, Philippines
• Silver - Emerson Process Management Asia Pacific Private Limited for their work on China Huadian Jiangsu Wang Ting Power Plant
• Bronze – Southern Generating Station, CESC Limited for their project Micro Hydel Units (3 x 15 Kw) to extract waste energy from Condenser Cooling Water return to River

Smart Grid Project of the Year

• Gold - Singapore Power for completing nationwide deployment of deregulated energy services for commercial & industrial customers in Singapore
• Silver - Alstom Grid Pte Ltd. for their Smart Digital Substation in Meralco, Philippines

Information Technology Project of the Year
• Gold - Reliance Infrastructure Limited’s Outage Management System
• Silver - Taiwan Power Company’s project entitled “A Novel Visualization Technique for Rapidly Identifying Power System Islands and Boundaries”

Power Utility of the Year - Malaysia
• Sarawak Energy Berhad

Power Retailer of the Year - Singapore
• Diamond Energy Supply Pte Ltd

Power Utility of the Year - Thailand
• Thai Solar Energy Public Co., Ltd.

Power Utility of the Year - India
• Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd

Independent Power Producer of the Year

• Gold - CGN Meiya Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
• Silver - Thai Solar Energy Public Co., Ltd.
• Bronze - Conergy Asia & ME

CEO of the Year

• Datuk Torstein Dale Sjøtveit

San Carlos Solar, BPI sign bridge loan deal:
Business World Online – July 16, 2014

SAN CARLOS Solar Energy, Inc. (SaCaSol) has secured bridge financing for its 22-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Negros Occidental, according to a statement.

The renewable energy developer said it tapped the bridge financing market in the country for the first time, signing an agreement with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

The size of the package was not disclosed. The 22-MW solar project located in San Carlos City was earlier estimated to cost about P1.9 billion overall.

The first phase of the project, involving a 13-MW plant, is already operational while the remaining 9-MW is expected to be operational in the coming months.

SaCaSol is a joint venture between Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. and ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund.

“Having constructed and grid-connected the first utility-scale solar plant in the country, we are keen to make the most of our experience, and pursue our expansion projects,” the statement quoted SaCaSol President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta as saying.

“This new partnership with BPI is key to helping us deliver a larger portfolio of projects to meet the growing needs of our country for daytime power to reduce our reliance on diesel peaking plants,” he added.

For his part, ThomasLloyd Head of Project Finance Tony Coveney said the agreement with BPI is an “important benchmark transaction.”

“We were delighted to work with the team at BPI and look forward to further market-leading transactions,” he noted.

Alfonso L. Salcedo, Jr., BPI’s executive vice-president and group head of Corporate Banking, welcomed the bank’s role in the Philippines’ first large-scale commercial solar facility. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano


San Carlos, 3 others seek perks:
Inquirer.net June 28, 2014
Four companies engaged in energy, tourism and real estate have sought tax incentives and other perks from the Board of Investments (BOI) for their proposed projects, according to notices posted by the agency.
According to the BOI, San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. has applied for registration as a renewable energy developer of solar energy resources with a planned 18-megawatt solar farm in Brgy. Cubay, La Carlota, Negros Occidental.
Another firm, Peter and Paul Inc., has also applied for registration with the BOI as new operator of tourist accommodation facility called Domicillo Bed and Breakfast on a non pioneer status.
The facility is on Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika East, Tagaytay City.
SM Development Corp. is likewise seeking incentives for two real estate projects, both in Quezon City.

SMDC has applied for registration as an expanding developer of low cost mass housing project, Grass Residences Tower 5, on a nonpioneer status.
Vancouver Lands Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SMDC, is likewise applying for registration on a non-pioneer status as an expanding developer of low cost mass housing project in Novaliches called Trees Residences Phase 2.
Should the projects of these four companies be approved by the BOI, they will be entitled to a menu of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that will allow their businesses to be more competitive.
Government data showed that BOI-registered enterprises are exempt from the payment of income taxes for four years from the scheduled start of commercial operations.
Other incentives include exemption from taxes and duties on imported spare parts; exemption from wharfage dues and export tax, duty, impost and fees for enterprises registered under the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP); tax credits; and additional deductions under labor expenses. — Amy R. Remo

 

DOE raises target for solar power installation under FIT to 500 MW:
Business Mirror
- May 26, 2014

The Department of Energy (DOE) has raised the solar power-installation target under the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) scheme to 500 megawatts (MW) from 50MW, and may do the same for wind energy.
 “The DOE already issued the certification adjusting total solar-installation target from 50 to 500 MW and transmitted it to ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission] last week,” said National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) Chairman Pedro H. Maniego Jr.
The DOE is pushing for more solar- power development with guaranteed power rates in order to boost supply during the summer months.
 NREB is the body tasked by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 to recommend policies, rules and standards to govern the implementation of the law, which granted fiscal and nonfiscal incentives to renewable energy projects.
The FIT, meanwhile, is the per kilowatt-hour rate that will be guaranteed to renewable energy (RE) developers to ensure the viability of their projects. Consumers will shoulder the tariff through a new line item in their electricity bills, explained the DOE.
At present, the committed capacity for solar power has already exceeded the initial 50-MW target. “Completed solar installations of Sacasol and Majestic have already exceeded the initial solar-installation target of 50 MW,” Maniego said.
 Just recently, San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (Sacasol), a joint venture between Bronzeoak Philippines Inc. and the ThomasLloyd Group, inaugurated the first phase, or 13 MW of its 22 MW solar-power plant, of the project in Negros Occidental. The inauguration of the remaining 9 MW will be set soon.
 When asked if targets for other RE resources, particularly on wind power, will be adjusted, Maniego said, “The DOE and NREB will study possible installation-target adjustment later this year, once the commercial operation dates of the ongoing wind projects are definite.”
The DOE initially set the installation cap at 750 MW divided among run-of-river hydro with 250 MW; biomass, 250 MW; wind, 200 MW; and solar, 50 MW.
These targets, which are necessary for each type of RE that will qualify for FIT incentives, ensure the security of the power grid and electricity rates, given the intermittent and high cost of power generation from such sources compared with conventional plants.
Marasigan had said that the total capacity for committed wind projects has reached over 300 MW.
“As to wind projects, these are still under construction. The wind proponents must also 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,” added Maniego. — Lenie Lectura

 

Second solar power plant breaks ground in Negros:
Manila Bulletin – Mon, May 19, 2014

Bacolod City, Negros Occ. – After the successful commissioning of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SACASOL)’s 22-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in San Carlos City ,the company held a ground-breaking ceremony for another solar farm project, this time in La Carlota City, in the southern part of the province.

Groundbreaking of the 18-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in La Carlota was held last Friday, a day after President Aquino inaugurated  San Carlos City solar farm, in a 35-hectare property owned by SACASOL President Jose Ma. Zabaleta, Jr.

Zabaleta said he ventured into solar power due to frequent power failure and continued rising cost of electricity in this part of the province.

In La Carlota City last Friday, SACASOL officials led by Zabaleta and his partners, Roberto Cuenca and Michael Sieg, chairman of the ThomasLloyd group, along with Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Daniel Ariaso laid down the time capsule that marked the start of the construction of the 18-megawatt solar farm in t the city’s Brgy. Cubay. Zabaleta said SACASOL expects the solar power plant here to be finished by December.

Investment cost for SACASOL II project is worth P1.8 billion. It will provide 72,000 modules or solar panels making it one of the largest solar farms in the country today.

Ariaso said it is not only one of the largest solar farms but the fastest that the DOE processed and signed in just 12 days.

The pace in processing the project has impressed the ThomasLloyd group chairman who compared it to the time in Germany are processed.

“The DOE has always reckoned renewable energy to be one of the department’s substantial arm in the development of the nation’s energy capacity.  With sufficient power, people and communities move,” Ariaso said.

Meanwhile, Zabaleta disclosed that after La Carlota, SACASOL is set to build one more solar farm in Negros Occidental, in Manapla town, and likewise one in Bais City in Negros Oriental.

“We are focusing first in Negros in response to the call of the DOE and Governor Alfredo G. Marañon for the province to be the clean energy capital of the country.  We want to make sure that we first meet the growing needs of power in Negros, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo and Cebu before going into other parts of the country,” he said.

Cuenca credited the success of putting up solar farms in the province to the vision and resolve of the older Zabaleta, Jose Maria Sr.

New solar plant in Negros expected to meet power demand,
reduce CO2 emissions in Visayas:

Inquirer.net May 17th, 2014

SAN CARLOS CITY, Negros Occidental – Leading German solar solution and service provider Conergy joins in the celebration of the inauguration of the first phase of the San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol) solar plant, a ground mounted photovoltaic solar facility on a 350,000 square-meter area at the San Carlos City Economic Zone.

President Benigno Aquino III, guest of honor at the SaCaSol inauguration led the ribbon-cutting and switching-on ceremony, together with Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla from the Department of Energy and Senator Loren Legarda. Representatives from Bronzeoak, Thomas Lloyd, the International Finance Corporation and local government officials were also in attendance.

The project is a joint venture between the local clean energy developer, Bronzeoak Philippines and leading global investment management group, ThomasLloyd.

In October 2013, Conergy was contracted by SaCaSol to carry out the planning, supply, engineering and construction of the 22-megawatt solar power plant, the largest solar farm in the country. The project has been built on two sites: 13 MW and 9 MW for Phase One and Phase Two, respectively.

With the first 13 MW of the SaCaSol solar plant commissioned, power is now being supplied to the grid at the pre-determined feed-in-tariff rate for solar power set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) which is currently set at P9.68/kWh. The SaCaSol plant is expected to be completed by mid-2014, with 88,300 Conergy P-series modules set to produce around 35,000 megawatt hours per year – enough energy to supply 13,000 households in the Philippines. Once completed, the facility is expected to reduce CO2 gas emissions by 18,820 tons per year.

Conergy CEO for Asia Pacific, Marc Lohoff shares, “SaCaSol is the first utility scale solar plant in Negros and the Visayas region and is the largest solar power plant in the country. With our market entry in the Philippines, we are opening up another attractive and emerging growth market in Asia, adding to our strong presence in Thailand. We are just about a month away from completing this project and together with our shareholder Kawa, we are looking forward to support more initiatives that will accelerate the development of solar energy and address the growing power demand in the country with alternative power sources that are sustainable, reliable and cost-effective.”

Alexander Lenz, President for Conergy Asia & Middle East points out, “The conditions for solar projects in the country are very positive. This includes the Philippines’ electricity rates – the country has the fifth highest electricity prices in the world today, and the second in Asia and also suffers from frequent blackouts.  But thanks to high solar radiation of ~5kWh per square meter a day, and a 6-7% annual economic growth rate, solar energy can become a genuinely competitive and self-sustaining proposition in the country, especially if executed with the appropriate scale.”

“We are happy and proud to support the President and Secretary in their aim of meeting our growing energy demands by harnessing indigenous and renewable resources to supply peak power, displacing diesel power plants during high demand day time hours,” added Bronzeoak Philippines president Jose Maria P. Zabaleta Jr.

Conergy is working on the SaCaSol project in collaboration with its partner, SCHEMA Konsult Inc., a multidisciplinary technical consulting company. Project completion is expected by the first half of 2014.

Biggest solar plant launched in Negros Occidental:
By Chrysee G. Samillano (Business World Online) | Updated May 15, 2014 10:38:28 PM


BACOLOD CITY -- President Benigno S.C. Aquino III yesterday led the inauguration of the first and largest commercial-scale solar plant in the Philippines.
The facility in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, which was commissioned by San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc., (SaCaSol) has a total capacity of 22 megawatts (MW) per day.

Phase one, which has been completed, will deliver 13 MW. The second phase, which is set to be completed in five weeks, will provide an additional 9 MW.

Mr. Aquino, who led the ceremonial switch-on to signify the start of commercial operation, underlined the importance of renewable energy projects to the nation’s economy and prosperity of its people.

“With your help, we are showing to the world that even developing countries such as ours can do their share in reducing the risk caused by global warming. And, we are doing this even at a time when the development of solar power plants remains more expensive than that of plants fueled by other renewable sources of energy,” he said.

The project costs P1.9 billion, funded by full equity financing.

“This a project funded by companies with a strong interest in renewable and clean energy investments and is supported by the local government,” Mr. Aquino added.

The 20-hectare solar farm, established by German company Conergy AG for SaCaSol, is located within the San Carlos Ecozone and is near the 19.99-MW baseload biomass power plant as well as the bioethanol plant with co-generation power facility.

The project will enter into a renewable energy purchase agreement for power offtake as mandated by the Renewable Energy Law (Republic Act No. 9513) and will be connected to the Visayas power grid.

Jose Maria T. Zabaleta, Sr., SaCaSol chairman, said the solar plant will deliver power to the grid during peak hours, which will help bring down the average cost of power rates to consumers.

Mr. Zabaleta said that while diesel- and bunker-generated power is at P22 per kilowatt-hour, solar power costs only about P9/kwh. The solar plant has a lifespan of 25 years.

For his part, SaCaSol President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, Jr. said the solar plant is the first of the many solar plants that SaCaSol will be putting up in the Visayas.

He said the company will also break ground today in La Carlota City for the 18-MW SaCaSol 2, which will be completed by the end of the year.

Mr. Zabaleta, Sr. said SaCaSol will be putting up an additional 45 MW in different locations before the onset of summer next year.

“These projects will create thousands of jobs and will light many homes and industries,” he said.

San Carlos Mayor Gerardo P. Valmayor said that with the solar farm and mini hydro plant operating here, they are positioning the city as the renewable energy capital of the country.

These alternative energy sources came about due to the collaborative efforts of the local government, their partners in the private sector, and the community.

President Aquino also inaugurated yesterday the P335-milion Himogaan Bridge and road in Sagay City, seen to cut travel time from Bacolod to Sagay by 15 minutes.

IFC, Thomas Lloyd set $330-M lending facility for RE projects:
ByMyrna Velasco, Manila Bulletin March 4, 2014

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group and Europe’s Thomas Lloyd Group Ltd. have inked a mandate-letter for the provision of $330-million lending portfolio for renewable energy (RE) projects in the Philippines.

This will be in the form of senior debt through the managed co-lending portfolio program and other associated IFC funding facilities.

A press statement noted that the facility “will augment the $87 million of development and construction capital already deployed or committed by the Thomas Lloyd Group of Companies and the Thomas Lloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund.”

The credit window provided by both lending institutions, as emphasized, “will be used to construct and operate a portfolio of three solar facilities and three biomass facilities” in Negros.

IFC and Thomas Lloyd Group said the transaction could be a platform for expanding investments in the Philippine renewable energy sector.

According to Thomas Lloyd executive director and head of project finance Tony Coveney, “the Philippines provided a great opportunity for both us and the IFC to bring permanent jobs and sustainable energy supply to the country,” stressing further that such initiative could hopefully bring power supply to somehow-neglected local communities.

Considerably, RE is a sunshine industry with some promise to augment the country’s teetering power supply and solution to many blackout ridden off-grid areas.

IFC had indicated serious interest to bankroll RE projects in the Philippines, although at some point, it raised reservations when government had been fickle on its rules-crafting and policy enforcements.

Thomas Lloyd, for its part, has been advising and financing development of RE facilities in the country for the past five years already.

Its “lending fingerprints” had been etched on the 22-megawatt solar power project of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc., which is targeted for completion this month. “This will be the first utility-scale renewable energy project built in the country to take advantage of the feed-in-tariff introduced by the government under the Renewable Energy Act,” the European investment firm averred.

ThomasLloyd was also instrumental in financing the 19.99MW biomass power facility of San Carlos Biopower Inc., another project vehicle under Bronzeoak Philippines.

From this venture, several more renewable energy projects are expected to take off, especially those already blueprinted in Negros sites.

Bronzeoak plans 2 more biomass plants in Negros:

By: Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo, InterAksyon.com February 10, 2014 12:03 AM

MANILA - Bronzeoak Philippines Inc plans to put up two additional biomass power plants in Negros.
Bronzeoak president Jose Maria P. Zabaleta Jr. said the first project located in San Carlos City has already broken ground while the second one will be put up in La Carlota City.
"South Negros is also in the permitting stage and we hope to do that within this year to issue the notice to proceed and then we have one North Negros so we will cover all of the possible biomass in all of Negros," he said.
San Carlos is in the northern part of Negros Island, while La Carlota is in the southern part.
The power facilities will run on biomass feedstock such as agricultural byproducts to generate between 20-25 megawatts (MW) each.
Zabaleta said two plants could be up and running within two years.
Besides the said projects, Bronzeoak, in partnership with Swiss-German firm Thomas Lloyd, is also developing a solar power project in San Carlos.
Zabaleta said the group is also mulling over two additional solar projects in Negros on top of the 20-MW SaCaSol project.
"Maybe eight megawatts and we want another big one in North Negros maybe as high as 20 megawatts. That’s a lot of jobs in Negros. In fact we are encountering a shortage of people,” he said.
Bronzeoak will infuse $260, representing half of the project cost. The balance will be raised through debt.
"That’s for all. And then we get some investors to come if we need," Zabaleta said.

PHL takes center stage at ThomasLloyd Clean Tech Congress in Frankfurt:
By: DFA Gov Ph February 06, 2014

The Philippines took center stage at the 2014 ThomasLloyd Clean Tech Congress Europe, held at the Frankfurt Convention Center on January 24. This year’s edition, themed “Meet Asia. Meet Renewable Energy’s Future,” brought together more than a thousand European investors and technology companies to discuss emerging business and investment opportunities in renewable energy infrastructure in Asia.

Owing to its strong partnership with Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., the Stuttgart-headquartered ThomasLloyd Group identified the Philippines as the conference’s focus country.  ThomasLloyd and Bronzeoak Philippines Inc. are pursuing nearly US$ 500 million worth of investments in three biomass, one wind and two solar energy power projects in Negros Occidental, while another biomass facility is in development in Tarlac.

Investors were provided with an in-depth picture of the Philippine economy and opportunities in the renewable energy (RE) sector.

Senator Loren Legarda, during her keynote speech, highlighted the legal and regulatory reforms in place to support renewable energy investments such as the Renewable Energy law, Feed-in Tariff, Net Metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Green Energy Option.  Senator Legarda stressed that the country’s National Renewable Energy Program has set out aggressive targets on renewable energy development from 2011-2030, aiming to nearly triple the existing capacity of 5,369 megawatts to 15,304 megawatts by the year 2030.

Former Senator Edgardo Angara highlighted the core fundamentals and institutional transformation of the Philippine economy.  Senator Angara noted that, with a renewable energy potential of between 150-250 GW, the sector has the ability to ameliorate the conditions of the 16 million Filipinos who are classified as energy-poor and the 40 million who are reliant on traditional solid biomass for cooking.

Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad, for her part, provided a snapshot of the Philippine economy and highlighted that the Aquino administration has focused on the principle that “good governance translates to good economics.”  Investors were heartened to note key policy successes, such as the government’s anti-corruption drive, enhanced fiscal transparency, and improved tax administration, which have contributed to the country’s improved competitiveness and the attainment of investment grade status in 2013.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who participated via live satellite link, highlighted that the Philippines is a good partner for renewable energy investors, and commended the Philippines as a leader in the use of geothermal energy.  Noting the increased regional tensions in the South China Sea, Mr. Clinton predicted there would be an increased appetite for clean technology as it would provide energy independence and domestic economic security.  He further highlighted the need for policymakers in Asia to make a better case for renewable energy and called for the development of a realistic analytical and financial framework for renewable energy that would make renewable energy projects feasible over the long run.

The Bronzeoak Philippines management team, led by its President Jose Maria Zabaleta, Jr., also briefed investors on the project cycle from concept to commercial operation, and provided status updates on all eight ongoing and prospective projects, which are expected to provide 190 MW to the national grid between 2014 and 2016.  The San Carlos Solar Energy I development will be the first project to be implemented under the 2008 Renewable Energy law and the feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates.

Project Technical Specifications Reach of Electricity Supply New Permanent Jobs Project Completion
San Carlos Solar Energy I (Negros Occidental) 13 MW 30,000 people 12 March 2014
San Carlos Solar Energy II (Negros Occidental) 9 MW 20,000 people 9 May 2014
San Carlos Biopower 19.99 MW 212,000 people 600 in the plant/2,000 in feedstock production and collection January 2015
South Negros Biopower 24.99 MW 265,000 people 675 in the plant/ 2,500 in feedstock production and collection Q4 2015
North Negros Biopower 24.99 MW 265,000 people 800 in the plant/ 4,000 in feedstock production and collection Q3 2016
Central Tarlac Biopower 29.99 MW 318,000 people 800 in the plant/ 4,000 in feedstock production and collection Q3 2016
San Carlos North East Wind 60 MW 208,000 people 12 Q1 2016
Total 182 MW 1.318 million people 2,908 in the plant/ 12,500 in feedstock production and collection


At the end of the conference, ThomasLloyd CEO Michael Seig presented a US$ 100,000 check to Ambassador Natividad and Senator Legarda to be used for renewable energy solutions in schools affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

ThomasLloyd is a leading investment banking and investment management group, solely dedicated to the renewable energy sector in Asia.  The company operates 13 offices in 12 countries for its 37,144 clients, with approximately US$ 2.7 billion in assets under management or advisory services.  Under its Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, ThomasLloyd has invested US$  82 million in Bronzeoak’s renewable energy projects and is looking to invest an additional US$  130 million for future projects.


San Carlos solar energy project gets BOI perks:
By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 15, 2014 - 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the 22-megawatt solar project of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol).
The project will be located inside a 35-hectare site in the San Carlos Economic Zone in Negros Island.
“The P1.9-billion project shall start commercial operations in the second quarter of 2014 and enjoy a seven year income tax holiday (ITH) incentive and duty-free importation of renewal energy machinery, equipment and materials including communication equipment,”  the company said.
According to the company, the plant is expected to provide approximately 31,610,473 kilowatt-hour(kwh) of electricity annually to the Visayas grid, which is currently suffering from brownouts and low voltage problems.
The company has tapped Germany-based Conergy AG as supplier of 22 solar power inverters and 88,000 photovoltaic modules that will be used for the plant, it also said.
The project will be developed in two phases, with the first phase involving a 13-MW facility and the second phase a 9-MW expansion.

$500M earmarked for energy projects:
By Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano (Business World Online) | February 09, 2014 10:01:16 PM


BRONZEOAK Philippines, Inc. has earmarked over $500 million to develop renewable energy projects in Negros Occidental with combined capacity of 125-megawatts (MW), a top company official told reporters at Manila Hotel late on Thursday last week.

“We will have solar and biomass projects: a total of 50 MW of solar for four projects and the 75 MW for biomass will be three projects,” Jose Maria T. Zabaleta, Bronzeoak Philippines chairman, replied when asked on the company’s projects.

These projects, Mr. Zabaleta said, will cost more than $500 million and will be funded through a combination of debt and equity.

“It will be 50-50 equity and debt,” he said.

“Equity as Bronzeoak will be $260 million. That’s for all projects.”

TIMETABLE
Mr. Zabaleta said that the company’s 22-MW solar farm -- composed of two facilities with capacities of 13 MW and a 9 MW -- is already being built by its subsidiary, San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. (SaCaSol), in San Carlos Economic Zone.

“SaCaSol -- that’s going to come on-stream by April,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

“Then we have another one coming up in South Negros that will be about 8 MW and we want another big one in North Negros, that will be as high as 20 MW,” he added.

Asked on biomass projects, he noted that an 18-MW facility is being built by San Carlos BioPower, Inc. in San Carlos City and is scheduled to be operational early next year.

“So there’s one under construction; the other one has broken ground but no notice to proceed yet. The one that has broken ground is in San Carlos City,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

“South Negros is already in the permitting stage [sic] and we hope to issue the notice to proceed within this year. We have one in North Negros too. We will cover all of the possible biomass projects in Negros.”

Excluding ventures with ongoing construction, the other projects will be built in Negros Occidental within the next two years, he said.

“Commencement of construction within the next two years -- completion will take time. Construction period is two years for biomass and for solar, six months,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

He also noted that it takes about a year to secure all necessary permits.

Bronzeoak Philippines, established in 2003, is engaged in renewable energy development in the country. The company, through San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc., owns and operates an ethanol facility and cogeneration plant that produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol and 60 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

Top Renewable Energy Companies:
Energy Digital | November 26, 2013


1.)    Iberdrola

The focus on the development of clean energy and respect for the environment are some of the pillars of Iberdrola, a renewable energy pioneer based in Spain with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world.

In the next two years, the company expects to bring 1,450 megawatts (MW) of new capacity on stream through offshore wind farms including West of Duddon Sands, which is due to begin operations in 2014, and at least 10 onshore installations in Brazil to add to the Rio do Fogo wind farm that is already operational.

The company has 2.4 GW in hydro generation projects under way in Brazil: the Teles Pires plant, through Neoenergia, whose 900 MW is projected to come on stream in 2014, and Baixo Iguaçu and Belo Monte plants amounting to 1,500 MW which will start up between 2015 and 2016.

2.)    Calpine Corp.

The U.S. power company Calpine is capable of delivering nearly 27,500 megawatts of clean, cost-effective, reliable and fuel-efficient electricity to customers and communities in 20 U.S. states and Canada. The company owns, leases, and operates integrated systems of fuel-efficient natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants.

The Geysers, a massive geothermal site in Northern California, accounts for one-fourth of the [non-hydro] green power produced in California and in 2012 its average load was 696.1 net megawatts. Calpine also helped develop the Lake County-Southeast Geysers Effluent Pipeline project, which was the first wastewater-to-electricity project in the world. This 29-mile underground pipeline delivers eight million gallons of reclaimed water to The Geysers every day.

3.)    China Yangtze Power

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is a hydroelectric dam that is the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity (22,500 MW). Power generation is managed by China Yangtze Power, a listed subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corp. (CTGC) — a Central Enterprise SOE administered by state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

The dam, made of concrete and steel, is the largest hydroelectric power station on the planet with 34 generators: 32 main generators, each with a capacity of 700 MW, and two plant power generators, each with capacity of 50 MW. It is 2,335 meters (7,661 feet) long and the top of the dam is 185 meters (607 feet) above sea level.

4.)    Siemens

Siemens Wind Power, with headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, has a 6.3 percent share of the world’s wind power generation. From the outset, Siemens has played a key role in founding the offshore wind industry, having installed the world’s first offshore wind farm in Vindeby, Denmark, in 1991.

Since then, Siemens has supplied the world’s largest offshore projects. For several years, the 165 MW Nysted offshore wind farm held the record as the largest offshore project. In 2009, that record was broken by the 200 MW Horns Rev II project. The 500 MW Greater Gabbard Project raised the bar again. And the world’s first 1 GW project, London Array, represents yet another step toward large-scale, green energy supply.

5.)   Suzlon Energy

The Suzlon Group, with headquarters at Suzlon One Earth in Pune, India, is ranked as the world’s fifth largest wind turbine supplier, in terms of cumulative installed capacity and market share, at the end of 2012. The company’s global spread extends across Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and North and South America with over 22,500 MW of wind energy capacity installed, operations across over 30 countries and a workforce of over 10,000.

The Group offers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios – ranging from sub-megawatt onshore turbines at 600 Kilowatts(KW), to the world’s largest commercially-available offshore turbine at 6.15 MW. The Suzlon Group comprises Suzlon Energy Limited and its subsidiaries, including REpower Systems SE.

6.)   NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy is the largest owner and operator of wind turbines in the U.S., and second in the world after Iberdrola. The company, through its subsidiaries, currently operates 68 wind farms across 16 states and two Canadian provinces, with a gross capacity of 6,610 megawatts.

The facilities in California's Mojave Desert have a total of 936,384 mirrors and cover more than 1,600 acres. Lined up, the parabolic mirrors would extend over 229 miles (369 km). The combined capacity from three separate locations is 354 megawatts, which makes it the largestsolar thermal energy generating facility in the world.

The nine solar power plants in the Mojave Desert power 232,500 homes (at peak power) and displace 3,800 tons of pollution per year that would have been produced if the electricity had been provided by fossil fuels.

7.)    First Solar

First Solar has gained industry-leading capabilities across the entire solar value chain to become one of the world’s leading providers of PV energy solutions. The company has developed the largest solar project pipeline in the world (nearly 3GW contracted worldwide) and sold PV power plants to top power producers and energy investors in the industry.

The company has designed and constructed over 1.5 GW of PV power plants, including one of the world’s largest and most advanced operational PV plant: Agua Caliente in Arizona. Also, First Solar achieved system availabilities of over 99 percent for fleet of utility-scale PV plants under operation (over 650MW growing to 2.2 GW).

8.)   E.ON

E.ON is one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies in the world that employs around 12,000 people in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide. At the moment, the company has 21 wind farms, a dedicated biomass plant at Lockerbie and the first wave power generator in the UK.

E.ON has plans to produce a lot more renewable energy soon – at least 1,500 MW more. In the UK the company’s focus is on wind, both onshore and offshore and dedicated biomass. E.ON has 20 operational onshore and three offshore wind farms, and are also a partner in the world's largest offshore wind farm, the London Array.

9.)   LDK Solar

LDK Solar Co. Ltd., based in China, became the sole PV enterprise whose sales exceed 1,000 MW globally in 2009. The wafer market share of the company occupied almost 20 percent in the world. In 2010, the company reached 3,000 MW wafer production capacity and its revenue surpassed 20 billion Yuan.

In November 2012, LDK Solar completed the design and construction of a 12 megawatt (MW) PV project in Italy. The company continued to expand new market through its high-performance wafer M2 and wafer M3. In the next five years, LDK is transferred from “PV technology enterprise” into “new energy technology group.”

10.)   Bronzeoak Philippines Inc.

Bronzeoak is a leader in the development and implementation of renewable energy projects in the Philippines. In 2006, the company completed development of the first integrated sugarcane, ethanol and power cogeneration plant in Asia located on Negros Island, Philippines. 

In April 2013, San Carlos BioPower Inc. began construction on a 19.99 megawatt biomass power plant on the eastern coast of Negros Occidental, Philippines. The new plant is scheduled to start operation in early 2015 and will provide 140 million KW hours per year to the grid. 

The company will complete $500 million worth of clean energy projects in 2017, including two more biomass power plants, taking the company’s total capacity to nearly 100 MW of biomass power delivering over 700 million KW hours to the grid.

Bioenergy developer set to complete 5 clean projects:
By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 8, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Bioenergy developer Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. expects to complete by 2017 the nearly $500 million worth of clean energy projects that would add more than 100 megawatts (MW) of power to the domestic energy sector. The ongoing projects are funded by European asset management and project finance group ThomasLloyd that specializes in investments in renewable energy in Asia. The finance group, through the ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, has so far invested $82 million in capital to its Philippine portfolio of renewable energy projects and has committed to invest $130 million more in the next two years. ThomasLloyd Group chairperson and CEO Michael Sieg told reporters yesterday that additional funding for the project may come from other financing means such as bank financing.
In the pipeline are three biomass fired power plants and a solar power plant in Negros and a biomass power plant in Tarlac. The projects would create 2, 750 jobs in the provinces and create an opportunity for farmers to sell farm waste as feed stock for the biomass power plants.

Already under construction is the $45 million San Carlos Solar Energy power plant which is set for connection by the second quarter of 2014. The 22 megawatt (MW) facility is seen to deliver 35 million kilowatt hours (kWh) to the grid when completed. The plant would be constructed in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. Also under construction is the $85 million San Carlos Biopower biomass-fired power plant which is expected to begin operations in 2015. The 19.99 MW plant is seen to deliver 140 million kWh to the grid.

To begin construction next year are two other biomass power plants in Negros. The $114 million South Negros Biopower biomass plant is slated for construction next year is seen to be operational by 2016. The 25 MW facility is expected to supply the grid with 175 million kWh per year. The North Negros Biopower biomass plant, which would also cost $114 million, is slated for construction also next year and is expected to be operational by 2017. The facility would have a capacity of 24.99 MW. Also in the pipeline is the $130 million Central Tarlac Biopower biomass plant which is scheduled for construction in 2014 and is seen to be operational by 2016. The facility would have a capacity of 29.99 MW. The construction of the biomass plants would give farmers an opportunity to sell their farm wastes to the power producers. The biomass plants would utilize several farms wastes that include sugarcane stalks, rice husks, coconut shells, palm frods, corn stalks, corn cobs and peanuts.

Investors bringing in P15B for 4 Negros power plants:
By Carla Gomez ( The Visayan Daily Star) | Updated October 9, 2013

A total of $345 million (P15 billion) is being invested in Negros Occidental for the construction of three biomass power plants and the country’s first solar farm that will bring 91 megawatts of power to the province, with the first two plants to be  operational by next year, Jose Maria Zabaleta Jr., president of Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., said last night. The four power plants that will use indigenous renewable power will create more than 2,000 jobs in Negros Occidental, and an added annual income of over P250 million for sugarcane farmers from the sale of their agricultural waste called bagasse to fuel the biomass power plants, Zabaleta also said. About 36-investor representatives of the ThomasLloyd Group from Zurich, London, Prague and major cities of Germany, as well as investors from China, arrived in Bacolod City yesterday for the launching of the projects in San Carlos City today and in La Carlota City tomorrow.
The ThomasLloyd Group was led by its chairman and chief executive officer, T.U. Michael Sieg, at a dinner last night hosted by the province of Negros Occidental and Bronzeoak Philippines at the Plantazionne Clubhouse in Talisay City, which was also attended by Negros business and sugar leaders.
Sieg said ThomasLloyd’s projects in Negros are the cornerstone of its renewable energy investments in the Philippines. The three biomass power plants in San Carlos and La Carlota cities will be constructed by Chinese contractor Wuxi Huagang that is an investor along with ThomasLloyd, Bronzeoak and Greenergy Holdings. Investors in the 22-megawatt solar plant in San Carlos City, to be built by contractor Conergy, a German firm, and Skema Consult Philippines, are Bronzeoak and ThomasLloyd, he said.

GROUNDBREAKING
The groundbreaking for the San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. and launching of the San Carlos Biomass Power Plant are set this morning. Zabaleta said the solar plant that will cost about $45 million will be operational next year with the 13-megawatt first phase in the first quarter of 2014 and 9-megawatt second phase in the second quarter. The $85 million San Carlos biomass plant that will produce 19.99 megawatts of power will be operational end of 2014, he said. The biomass plant to be built in Barangay Cubay, La Carlota City, on the property owned by planter Roberto Cuenca, that will be launched tomorrow, will cost $107 million, Zabaleta added. A similar 25-megawatt $107 biomass plant will also be built in Manapla town and is expected to be operational in 2016, he said, adding that the investors visited its site yesterday.

POWER STABILITY, INCOME
The four power plants will ensure power stability in Negros Occidental and will be a boost to investments in the province, he said. It will also mean added income for sugar planters without additional cost to help cushion the impact of the drop in tariffs on imported sugar entering the country by 2015, Zabaleta said.
It will mean added income to sugarcane farmers, who are estimated to earn over P250 million annually from the sale of their bagasse and other agricultural residue, which are currently non-earning products, he added. For a long, long time, Negros has been an importer of power from neighboring islands, and this will allow us to be self-sufficient and will ensure stable supply, Zabaleta said. The plants will produce clean renewable embedded power for Negros Occidental, and will cause income to trickle down, he added.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., who welcomed the investors to Negros Occidental, said they will provide much-needed clean energy, billions of pesos in investments, jobs for hundreds of Negrenses, and spur further investor interest in the province to boost its economy.*CPG



ERC Approves Feed-in tariff rates:

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), on July 27, 2012, approved the initial Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) that shall apply to generation from renewable energy (RE) sources, particularly, Run-of-River Hydro, Biomass, Wind, and Solar, as follows:

APPROVED FITS (PhP/kWh)
HYDRO
5.90
BIOMASS
6.63
WIND
8.53
SOLAR
9.68

The ERC, however, deferred fixing the FIT for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Resource for further study and data gathering.  The decision came after a series of public hearings ending in March this year, on the petition of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) for the setting of the FITs. In its petition filed on May 16, 2011, NREB proposed the following FITs: 

APPROVED FITS (PhP/kWh)
HYDRO
6.15
BIOMASS
7.00
WIND
10.37
SOLAR
17.95

In fixing the FITs, the ERC accepted the methodology used by NREB in calculating its proposed FITs, which takes into account, among others, the cost of constructing and operating the representative plants for each RE technology, the generation output or capacity factors of these plants, and the reasonable return on investment to be allowed the developers of these plants. 

The ERC arrived at FITs substantially lower than NREB's proposed FITs for Wind and Solar after it updated the construction costs of the representative plants for these technologies to reflect the downward market trend of the costs of putting up these plants. It also adopted higher capacity factors for these plants to ensure that only the more efficient plants will enjoy the FIT incentive. 

For all the RE technologies, the ERC revised other project costs such as those for the switchyard and transformers, transmission interconnection cost and access/service road cost using the same benchmarks it had employed in approving similar projects of the regulated utilities. The ERC also adopted a lower equity Internal Rate of Return (EIRR) of 16.44°/o in calculating for the FITs, except for Biomass, which was allowed a higher EIRR of 17% to account for fuel risks. 

Section 7 of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 mandates, among others, the setting of the FITs to apply to wind, solar, run-of-river hydro, biomass, and ocean RE resources. Under the FIT system, the eligible RE developers will be paid the FITs applicable to them for the energy they feed into the grid. The FITs are subject to degression to encourage the developers to invest at the initial stage and hasten deployment of renewable energy and also to avoid substantial windfall from being enjoyed by developers especially in the technologies where significant cost reductions are expected in the future. 

The approved FITs shall also be subject to review and readjustment by the ERC after the initial FIT implementation of 3 years or when the installation targets for each technology as set by the Department of Energy shall have already been met. 

"The ERCs lowered FITs will definitely cushion the impact of implementing the FIT incentive mechanism under the RE Act on the electricity rates, while still being sufficient enough to attract new investments in renewable energy. This is win-win for all," ERC Executive Director Francis Saturnino Juan said.

July 27, 2012