RE power back-up ordered

By Myrna M. Velasco – Updated September 9, 2019, 2:56 PM
from Manila Bulletin

Residential as well as big-ticket customers wanting to join the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) are mandated to also source their back-up power supply from renewable energy (RE) sources.

The GEOP extends “power of choice” to end-users – up to the household level – to contract for their electricity needs from RE sources, but the strict requirement is for them to likewise source back-up power from other RE technologies.

For instance, if solar power is weak due to bad weather or there is not enough wind energy to power wind turbines to generate electricity, the customer is also required to use back-up power from other RE technologies.

“If you’re going GEOP, you have to do 100 percent RE. So technically the back-up power supply should be RE also, so it could be a bundled resource contract so maybe you could have a solar and biomass or a solar and hydro,” National Renewable Energy Board Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta explained.

Dimalanta added that if a customer in unable to sustain 100 percent RE on its supply sourcing, it will be disqualified from the GEOP based on the proposed rules.

“What we saw in the consultation process, there are customers who really want to shift, but the challenge is on the supply side, so that’s being addressed,” she said.

The “green energy retailing program” has been proposed to be brought down to 100 kilowatts but Dimalanta qualified that the operating permits being prepared by the Department of Energy (DOE) are at the level of 500KW procurements for now.

“There are some technical issues raised by the DUs (distribution utilities) on the 100KW threshold – primarily on the metering aspect,” the NREB chair said.

These concerns, said Dimalanta, were raised during a roadshow that the NREB and DOE had done on the operating permits being readied for the GEOP or the offer of RE capacities to end-consumers.

She similarly indicated that there is a template contract being offered by the DOE to all interested parties, but she qualified that will just serve as a guide for the parties-in-interest.

“The parties are free to adopt that template contract or not – but in the end, it’s really a negotiated contract,” she said.

There is also a “green energy pricing scheme” being pushed by the DOE, but according to Dimalanta, this will just serve as “suggested retail price” for those opting to do the shift.