Ayala puts solar power foray on hold in Philippines

5 October 2014 (Last Updated October 5th, 2014 18:30)

Philippines-based Ayala Corp (AC) has put its plans on hold for a maiden solar power joint venture with Japan's Mitsubishi.

Philippines-based Ayala Corp (AC) has put its plans on hold for a maiden solar power joint venture with Japan's Mitsubishi.

This move comes while three other power projects are currently on track to begin operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

AC Energy Holdings president Eric T Francia was quoted by InterAksyon.com as saying that the firm's entry into solar power was put on hold currently as the costs of civil and electromechanical works are high, even though the cost of solar panels has significantly reduced.

The present feed-in-tariff of PHP9.68 for each kilowatt-hour does not sufficiently compensate the investment put into the solar power in the Philippines.

"We can't justify the economics, so we're just focusing on other technologies like hydro and wind," Francia said.

The solar joint venture, called PhilNewEnergy, was to construct a 35MW solar power plant with an investment of PHP3.33bn ($73m) in the Santa Cruz town in Davao.

"We can't justify the economics, so we're just focusing on other technologies like hydro and wind."

"We just focused on other renewable energy because we think there's good balance in economics and overall impact. We want to be supportive of renewable energy," Francia said.

The three other projects slated to be completed by the fourth quarter comprise the first unit of the 270MW coal plant in Batangas of South Luzon Thermal Energy Co; the 18MW addition of the 33MW Bangui Bay wind plant in Ilocos Norte of Northwind Power Development; and the 81MW wind plant in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte of North Luzon Renewable Energy, reports InterAksyon.com.

So far this year, AC Energy has committed equity of $430m on thermal, wind and hydro plants and has spent approximately 92% of this amount.

It expects two coal-fired power plants, two wind farms, and one mini-hydro facility to reach a steady stage by 2016 end or early 2017, reports Philstar.com.

Energy