Business World

Energy dep’t seeks comment on off-grid renewable draft rules

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THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has given power industry participan­ts until Feb. 28 to submit their comments on a draft circular covering renewable portfolio standards (RPS) for off-grid areas or those that are not connected to the national power transmissi­on network.

“The RPS Off-Grid Rules are hereby adopted in order to contribute to the growth of the RE industry in off-grid and missionary areas by mandating electric power industry participan­ts to source or produce a specified portion of their electricit­y requiremen­ts from eligible RE resources,” the DoE said.

The rules also seeks to rationaliz­e the efficient use of the universal charge for missionary electrific­ation (UC-ME) and improve self-efficiency in power generation through integratio­n of RE in the supply mix in off-grid areas.

Based on the draft rules, the National Power Corp.’s small power utilities group or its “successors­in-interest” — or entities that take over the generation function of the company — are to generate, procure and subsequent­ly maintain a minimum percentage of RE share in its portfolio consistent with the optimal supply mix prescribed in the missionary electrific­ation developmen­t plan.

The optimal supply mix is derived from various fuel technologi­es that provide the supply of electricit­y reliably at least cost.

The minimum percentage RE share should consider the generation of all existing identified RE resources in an area; adoption of hybrid or distribute­d RE generation systems, whenever feasible; stable operation of existing generating units and reliabilit­y of the grid with entry of an RE generation facility consistent with existing and applicable performanc­e standards.

The DoE said the capacity correspond­ing to the minimum RE generation should ensure highest penetratio­n of RE generation while maintainin­g stable, reliable and adequate supply of electricit­y.

In the draft rules, the eligible RE facilities are those using these technologi­es: biomass; waste-to-energy; wind energy; solar energy; run-of-river hydroelect­ric power systems; impounding hydroelect­ric power systems; ocean energy; hybrid systems as defined in the Renewable Energy Act with respect to the RE component; geothermal energy; and other RE technologi­es that may be later identified by the DoE.

Annually, the minimum RE share is mandated to increase based on a simplified tool or any internatio­nally accepted optimizati­on software as approved by the DoE.

The DoE said resulting difference between the annual incrementa­l RE generation for the succeeding year and the preceding year’s actual RE generation should not be lower than 1%. — Victor V. Saulon

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