The Philippines had 903MW of installed solar PV capacity under its Renewable Energy Law at the end of 2016, according to Department of Energy (DOE) figures.

The majority of this (900MW) was grid-connected, with the rest (3.2MW) in the self-consumption category. The figures do not include 55 renewable energy-based projects installed under different laws.

Overall a total of 150 grid-connected projects and 16 self-consumption projects have been awarded, with a total potential capacity of nearly 4,082MW.

Nearly 95MW PV due to start operation in Philippines in March

The Philippines is also expected to bring 94.2MW of solar PV projects into commercial operation this month, according to more DOE  figures.

Of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, Mindanao will not see any projects commissioned although it does have 338MW of projects going through feasibility studies or at various stages of development.

Project developers with capacities expected to reach commercial operation in the division of Visayas include:

  • Cosmo Solar Energy – 5.67MW
  • SunAsia Energy – 60MW

Visayas has 465MW of projects under consideration or at various stages of development.

Meanwhile, expected additions at the division of Luzon include:

  • Next Generation Power Technology – 18MW
  • CW Marketing & Development – 1.675MW
  • SPARC Solar Powered Agri-Rural Communities – 3.82MW
  • SPARC Solar Power Agri-Rural Communities – 5.02MW

Luzon has 1,179MW of projects under consideration or at various stages of development.

The DOE has also released figures showing that as of 31 December 2016, there were 201 solar energy projects, totalling nearly 2,131MW, which have pending applications across the three divisions.

Solar Philippines breaks ground on 150MW PV plant in Talac

In related news, Filipino renewable energy firm Solar Philippines has started construction on a 150MW PV plant in at Concepcion, Tarlac, in the Philippines, according to another release from the DOE.

The project will use locally sourced modules and is set to power the equivalent of 300,000 households once completed by the end of 2017.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said: “Currently, the country’s power demand is at 13,000MW and our supply is barely 14,000MW, hence we need more power as well as reserve power.”

The release suggests that energy storage will be installed alongside the plant, but no further details were given and the firm has not responded to requests.

Cusi added: “Solar power plants with reliable storage capability can be most useful in island countries like the Philippines.”

In an interview with PV Tech, Pete Maniego, senior policy adviser of the Institute for Climate & Sustainable Cities and of Counsel of Dime & Eviota Law, has discussed the need for price-based competition in the Philippines.

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