Jul 232013

MANILA, Philippines – AboitizPower, the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s power generation, distribution and retail businesses, is eyeing to embark on wind projects, saying the sector could be an attractive venture.

“We’re looking at some wind projects but it’s a bit difficult to sell,” said AboitizPower senior vice president Luis Miguel Aboitiz.

He noted that wind energy is more expensive than coal and should be sold in a different way.

At the same time, Aboitiz said the incentives from the government for renewable energy projects such as the feed-in-tariff (FIT) would help investors.

The FIT regime is a form of incentives for renewable energy players.

The FIT rate approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the power regulator, are as follows: P9.68 per kilowatt-hour for solar; P8.53 per kwh for wind, P6.63 per kwh for biomass and P5.90 per kwh for hydropower projects.

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AboitizPower is one of the biggest power companies in the Philippines, with plans to invest P125 billion in the power sector over the next five years to double its capacity to 3,500 megawatts (MW).

The Department of Energy, for its part, has been enticing investors to the wind power sector.  It expects 300 MW of power capacity by 2016 from a total of five wind power projects.

This is on top of the approved three wind farm projects that will generate 208 MW, enough to supply power to at least 40,000 middle-class homes.

The three projects are due to be operational by early 2015.

These include the Burgos project by Energy Development Corp. – the 87-MW project will cost an estimated $300 million; the 67.5-MW project of Alternergy Wind One Corp.; and the 54-MW Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. of the Phinma Group.

The Alternergy project is expected to be online in early 2015 while Trans-Asia Oil’s project is also expected to come in next year or in 2015.

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