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Friday, July 19, 2024

DOE streamlines approval process for RE projects

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The Department of Energy (DOE) said it simplified the application process for renewable energy (RE) development to help establish greater ease of doing business in the energy sector and meet the renewable energy targets.

The DOE said, however, that to facilitate the transition, the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) System would undergo enhancements for five months from the effectivity of the new guidelines or starting June 25, 2024.

It said the processing of letters of intent (LOI) and RE applications would be temporarily suspended during the period.

The DOE said that under the simplified process, developers are now allowed to commence permit processing, conduct survey and other feasibility activities before the official 25-year contract terms begins under the newly-published guidelines governing the award and administration of RE contracts.

The DOE will issue a certificate of authority (COA) to developers which grants them authority to proceed with these activities which were previously only permitted after contract approval and signing by the Energy Secretary.

“The implementation of these new guidelines marks a significant step towards facilitating faster RE project implementation, fostering innovation and attracting investments across the archipelago,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

DOE Undersecretary Sharon Garin said the agency decided to overhaul the guidelines because “the renewable energy industry is not anymore in its infancy stage, unlike when we first issued the omnibus guidelines for applications.”

She said the DOE awarded 1,300 service contracts on renewable energy from different technologies which would amount to 62 gigawatts.

Garin said the revised guidelines would filter “the serious and legitimate companies that are determined to construct their projects and finish  their projects on time on budget.”

DOE assistant secretary Mylin Capongcol said the omnibus guidelines were issued in 2019, and it is “now  rife to amend it to consider the development in the renewable energy sector.”

“The first enhancement that we have included in the revised omnibus guideline was the issuance of a certificate of authority that allows the applicant or the RE developer to procure all the permits and licensing from various government agencies so that the next 25 years will be solely for the construction development and operation so it does not eat up to the timeline or period of the contract,” Capongcol said.

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