By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) is enforcing changes in the award of service contracts to renewable energy (RE) developers with its intended offer of pre-determined areas (PDAs) for such installations.
In the draft revised guidelines issued on the administration of RE operating and service contracts, the energy department indicated that interested parties can now apply with the DOE for PDAs on RE developments. The propounded rules are still subject to input and comments by and from affected stakeholders.
The department’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) will be the entity in-charge of identifying the pre-determined areas for RE projects; and the DOE offer to investors must be accompanied with location maps and technical descriptions of the area.
As specified, the PDAs “shall refer to areas with renewable energy potential through sufficient available technical data as may be determined by the REMB and as approved by the Energy Secretary.”
In the past RE installations in the country – especially during the era of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentivized developments, it had been incumbent upon the preference of investors where they shall be constructing their RE projects.
Such mode of development though had several downsides – such as the catch-up mode installations of underpinning transmission facilities; and over-developments that could just happen in particular areas like solar installations in Negros Occidental; and wind developments in Ilocos Norte.
For the proposed auction of RE pre-determined areas, the DOE emphasized that it will schedule a formal launching activity and the submission of RE service contract applications shall be set upon fixed timeframes.
Essentially, the PDAs for the RE sector take cue from the petroleum contracting round which is now adopting the same mode of investment-applications on the DOE’s pre-determined oil and gas blocks.