Alternergy, Shell explore offshore wind potential


RENEWABLE energy company Alternergy Holdings Corp. partnered with Shell Overseas Investment B.V. to explore offshore wind potential in the Philippines.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Alternergy Chairman Vicente S. Perez said Alternergy and Shell will assess the feasibility of an offshore wind project in Calavite Passage for a potential capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) or 1 gigawatt (GW).

The partnership with Shell has secured a wind energy service contract (WESC) from the Department of Energy (DoE), he said about assessing the feasibility of an offshore wind project in the marine channel in Mindoro Occidental.

“Ours is only about 1 GW but the entire Calavite has a potential of 5 GW,” Mr. Perez said.

He described the country’s wind sector as promising, citing an estimate made by the World Bank, which said the robust development of offshore wind could add 20 GW of installed capacity by 2040, accounting for 14% of the Philippines’ electricity needs and some $14 billion of value added to the economy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Perez said the partnership with Shell is covered by foreign ownership restrictions set by the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which limited foreigners to owning only 40% of renewable energy projects.

“This was negotiated before the amendments to the IRR, so classic 60-40 [ownership sharing]. Despite the developments DoE has done in easing the foreign ownership, we decided to keep it as is,” Mr. Perez said.

Last week, the DoE opened the renewable energy (RE) sector to full foreign ownership with the issuance of a circular amending the IRR of the RE law.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DoE said that it hopes the partnership will expedite the development process of new technologies in the country.

“I thanked these local companies and their foreign partners for taking bold action in committing to deliver clean energy to the Filipino people. Harnessing the power potential of offshore wind resources requires intensive capital cost and highly skilled manpower resource, thus partnerships are a key strategy,” Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said.

To date, the DoE has awarded a total of 42 offshore wind service contracts with an indicated 31.5 GW of installed capacity. — Ashley Erika O. Jose