By Myrna M. Velasco
The existing league of retail electricity suppliers (RES) can be automatically accredited as participants in the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) that the Department of Energy (DOE) has been advancing as a long-term market for renewable energy (RE) installations in the country.
Under a targeted policy, the energy department propounded that there shall be “automatic qualification of existing retail electricity suppliers” or those that are already serving or in contract with end-users under the retail competition and open access (RCOA) edict of the power sector.
The RES wanting to be automatically accredited in the GEOP will just need to submit the required documents — including proof of billing from at least one customer of open access for two years; or a sworn statement of the customer attesting to the fact that it has a contract with the applicant for the last two years.
The other requirements are articles of incorporation or partnership with certificate of registration or business name registration certificate; as well as RE supplier information sheet; proof of contract with RE facility and compliance certificate of the RE facility.
RES licensees are those suppliers catering to end-users within the prescribed threshold of power retail contracting (currently voluntary at 750 kilowatts and 1.0 megawatt thresholds) – this is done within the precept of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). The issuance of RCOA licenses is instituted by the Energy Regulatory Commission, the duly mandated regulator of the restructured power sector.
For GEOP, this will entail the direct purchase or contracting of electricity supply/service from RE sources on the preference of customers/end-users – and the threshold could go as low as the level of residential end-users.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi expressed confidence that “the GEOP will give rise to a reliable market for RE generation and enhance competition among RE and other power suppliers.”
As to the renewable energy suppliers, the issuance of operating permits shall be done by the energy department, as stipulated in its draft circular that is now being routed for inputs and comments by affected stakeholders.
Other than the existing RCOA-anchored retail power suppliers, the energy department also set out requirements for application for other interested renewable energy suppliers, including the documents that they will need to submit.
“Any person, natural or juridical, registered and/or authorized to operate in the Philippines under existing Philippine laws and engaged in the business of supplying electricity from RE sources may apply for an operating permit as RE supplier,” the DOE’s draft Circular has stipulated.
The processing of RE supplier applications shall be carried out by the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) of the DOE – and this shall be the entity to recommend approval or denial of operating permits’ issuance.
“Within 20 working days from submission of complete documents and requirements, the REMB Director shall come up with a decision on whether to approve, disapprove or reject an application or order on reasonable grounds,” as well as the postponement of final action on any application, the DOE has specified.