THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it will offer a streamlined approval process for the first microgrid service provider auction, at which concessions will be awarded to serve off-grid areas.
“We are committed to working closely with the relevant agencies to ensure that the CSP (competitive selection process) proceeds as smoothly as possible,” Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Our primary goal is to expedite the delivery of reliable and sustainable electricity services in all areas not only through microgrid systems but other appropriate solutions depending on the area’s characteristics,” she added.
The DoE last week invited potential bidders to the CSP for microgrid services to 98 unserved and underserved areas.
Unserved areas refer to those with no electricity access and no distribution system lines, while underserved areas are those where the supply of electricity is less than 24 hours daily.
According to Republic Act No. 11646 or the Microgrid Systems Act, the DoE is required to conduct a CSP for potential concessionaires seeking to serve off-grid areas.
The initial auction is expected to be conducted within the quarter, while the awarding is targeted for the first quarter of 2024.
Some 15,645 households, equivalent to around 39% of all unserved and underserved areas, are expected to benefit from the initial auction round.
The 2023-2032 National Total Electrification Roadmap (NTER) has identified 285 unserved and 122 underserved areas in off-grid locations which will be granted priority in tenders to private sector investments.
The DoE said it will further consult with distribution utilities and other instrumentalities to update NTER, as well as further validate the other unserved and underserved areas for a possible second round of auctions. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera