By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) is laying down the rules on open and competitive selection process (OCSP) in the award of service contracts (SCs) to fresh round of renewable energy (RE) project developments.
In a draft Circular, the department stipulated that “all areas for open and competitive selection shall be posted by the DOE in its website.”
And in the event when new areas for SCs have been identified, it added that “the DOE shall update its website and may include them in the areas to be published in preparation for the conduct of open and competitive selection of awarding RE contracts.”
It was further specified that “invitations for open and competitive selection shall be published once every week for three (3) consecutive weeks in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.”
The draft Circular states general condition on the conduct of bidding for new RE service contracts, and the DOE stated that separate guidelines shall be issued on the OCSP policy.
The auction of service contracts, the DOE further explained, shall cover both the award of contracts for RE developments on pre-development as well as those already at “development” stages.
To differentiate, RE ventures on pre-development stages are those involving “preliminary assessment and feasibility up to financial closing and declaration of commerciality of the RE project; while ‘development or commercial stage’ would refer to that phase when development and production or utilization of energy resources is already achieved, ranging from construction and installation of relevant facilities up to their operation point.
The eventual OCSP guidelines, it was stressed, shall include information such as, but not limited to: The map of the area being declared open for RE project proposals; instructions to RE applicants on the requirements for RE contract proposal; the schedules including the deadline to submit, the date of opening and period of evaluation of RE project proposals; and criteria for evaluation and the corresponding percentage or weight.
There is also a provision that warrants direct negotiation with prospective RE developers, in case expected submissions had not been met.
Such shall be exercised if: One, no proposal was received by the Renewable Energy Management Bureau; two, no one among the applicants was able to meet the legal requirements as determined by the RE-REC (RE Contract Review and Evaluation Committee); or three, when one or more applicants have met the legal requirements but after the evaluation of technical and financial proposals, no applicant was able to meet either the technical or financial requirements, as certified by the RE-REC.
The draft Circular and proposed OCSP guidelines are still up for public consultations and stakeholder comments, hence, further fine-tuning may still be integrated in the final version of the RE contracting rules.