Philippines Solar PV (small)
In 2008, the Renewable Energy Act (Republic Act 9513) was passed in the Philippines, laying the groundwork for the net-metering scheme (NM Scheme), as well as for other financial incentives and supporting mechanisms, e.g., feed-in tariff (FIT), renewable energy portfolio standard, (RPS) etc. to promote RE development in the Philippines. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) was tasked by the RE Act to create an interconnection standard, pricing methodology, and implementation rules for the NM scheme. In 2013, the ERC adopted the resolution to approve the rules for the net-metering scheme (ERC Resolution no. 9, series of 2013), paving the way for electricity consumers to become electricity producers under the net-metering scheme.
“Net-metering” is defined by the RE Act as a consumer-based RE policy mechanism. The electricity generated by a so-called qualified end-user (QE) from an eligible on-site solar PV system and delivered to the local distribution grid can be used to offset the electricity supplied by the distribution utility (DU) to the QE. Under the net-metering scheme, the QE plays the role of project developer and system owner (The term “QE” shall be used hereinafter), meaning that a homeowner or owner of a commercial building / office becomes the project developer.
For more information regarding the small solar PV sector in the Philippines, click here
Further information regarding the RE sector in the Philippines e.g. policy, energy mix, installed capacity etc. can be found in the ASEAN Renewables Information Portal
The procedure for a Solar PV project under the net-metering scheme (NM scheme) is less complex, less costly, and less time consuming compared to a solar PV project under the feed-in tariff (FIT scheme), the power supply agreement with distribution utility (PSA scheme), or the power supply agreement with bulk consumer (B2B scheme). For a rooftop system, site selection is usually not applicable. As the first step, a qualified end-user (QE) shall perform sizing and design the system to be installed on the roof. This must take into account several aspects, e.g., PV technology, inverter types, etc. This is a part of the Procurement and Construction 1 (PCN) step. A reliable technology / system provider shall be contracted to assist in the process. With some preliminary design / selection, the QE can apply for a NM scheme. This is explained in the Supporting Mechanisms (SPM) step. In parallel, two important permits must be obtained from the respective local government unit (LGU). They are (1) building permit and (2) electrical permit. They are parts of the Administrative Authorisation (ADM) step. Furthermore, the Grid Connection Permit (GCP) step may have to be performed. This depends on the decision given by the respective distribution utility (DU). The DU shall determine if a distribution impact study (DIS) is required. The result of the DIS will also determine whether a further Distribution Assets Study (DAS) is required. After the permits from the LGU have been granted, the QE can start with the system installation (also under the PCN step). Upon completion of the system installation, inspection of the system by the LGU’s field engineer and by the distribution utility (DU) must be arranged. This is described in the Grid Connection and Commissioning (GCC) step. Following that, a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must also be obtained from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), in turn allowing the QE to generate electricity in the Philippines. This is explained at length in the Electricity Production License (EPL) step. A connection agreement must be signed as described in the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) step before the system can be operated (Operation and Maintenance step; OPM)