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DoE plans second round of bidding for microgrid system providers this year

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THE Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday said it targets to conduct a second round of bidding for microgrid systems service providers within the year.

This came after the DoE awarded the development of microgrid systems in eight unserved areas in the provinces of Cebu, Quezon, and Palawan to the Maharlika Consortium.

The Maharlika Consortium is composed of Maharlika Clean Power Holdings Corp., Singapore-based CleanGrid Partners Pte. Ltd., and Singapore-based renewable energy company WEnergy Global Pte. Ltd.

As the winning bidder of the first round, the consortium will provide 24/7 electricity services to the said areas through a hybrid microgrid system composed of solar photovoltaic, an energy storage system, and a diesel genset.

Such technologies will be built and operated not later than 18 months from the consortium’s execution of the microgrid systems service contract with the National Power Corp.

“The rates to be imposed in these areas will be subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission and will be provided with a subsidy under the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification for a period of twenty (20) years,” the DoE said.

Under Republic Act No. 11646, or the Microgrid Systems Act of 2022, the Energy department is required to conduct a competitive selection process (CSP) for potential concessionaires seeking to serve off-grid areas.

In the first round, the bidding included 98 areas without electricity or with limited access, grouped into 49 lots in remote locations.

Out of nine prequalified bidders, only the Maharlika consortium submitted complete bid proposals.

The Energy department vowed to enhance the terms of reference and streamline the processes to encourage wider participation from private sector entities.

For the second round, the DoE will offer new areas and those that received no proposals during the first round.

“Economic and logistical considerations are carefully evaluated to ensure the inclusion of appropriate areas in the CSP and should align with the overarching objective of delivering sustainable and reliable energy solutions to communities in need while optimizing resource allocation,” the DoE said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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