The Department of Energy is already open to accepting applications from renewable energy developers wanting to get an allocation from the limited 760-megawatt installation target.
Only those projects that receive an allocation from this installation target—which referred to the total capacity of renewable energy projects that will be allowed to be constructed within a three-year period—will be subject to the feed-in-tariff rates.
“It’s not enough to have a service contract. There are other requirements under the eligibility criteria to give [renewable energy developers] the go signal to proceed with their projects,” said Energy Secretary Jose Rene D Almendras.
The eligibility criteria will narrow down the list of RE developers that will be allowed to put up their projects and avail of the FIT rate, especially since the DoE has already awarded a total of 305 RE service contracts for projects that have a combined potential capacity of 5,505 MW— more than seven times the 760-MW installation target.
Under the current installation target, the 250 MW has been allocated for hydropower projects, 250 MW for biomass, 50 MW for solar, 200 MW for wind power and 10 MW for ocean power.
“We’ll be ready when people come to us. In fact, for solar, there are projects that are starting to come in, wanting to fill up the 50-MW allocation,” Almendras said.
Separately, however, Marissa P Cerezo, OIC-assistant director for the renewable energy management bureau of the DoE, said that they have yet to thresh out the details and procedures for the eligibility criteria in order to secure a level playing field and ensure that no single player will snag a large portion of the installation target.
Cerezo said they are targeting to finalize the criteria before year end.
“We have to [come up] with clear criteria in determining which project or developer is really ready and not just base it on claims. We have to establish a strong basis that the project proponents are ready based on technical performance, number of permits secured and total accomplishments,” Cerezo said.
“We also need to put in a stringent penalty that would really discourage developers to make any misrepresentation or misdeclaration,” she added.
The DoE has also yet to discuss how to allocate the limited capacity in case there is an oversubscription for a particular RE resource—meaning the capacities of the projects that have passed the eligibility criteria will be higher than the installation target set by the government.
Energy Undersecretary Jose M Layug Jr earlier said that the DoE would consider four possible options, namely implementing a bidding process and using FIT rates as a ceiling; allocating the capacity equally among developers; implementing a first-come, first-served basis; and allowing developers to talk among themselves as to whose project will proceed first.
The energy official, however, noted that it would be premature to look into the second round of qualifications considering that none of the RE developers have declared commerciality and that many of them are still studying their options, given the relatively low FIT rates approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.
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