DOE eyeing 114 prospective bidders in new hydro, geothermal projects

Published January 8, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Department of Energy (DOE) is eyeing 114 prospective bidders in the  22 geothermal and hydropower ventures that it is offering to investors via the third open and competitive selection process (OCSP-3), an auction system in the award of service contracts for renewable energy (RE) projects.

The department formally launched its third round of OCSP on January 5; and had dangled pre-determined areas (PDAs) of at least five geothermal and 17 hydropower projects – that if taken together could yield up to 150 megawatts.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (Photo credit:

The last day of submission of bid documents will be on February 15; and the opening of offers will also be undertaken on the same day.

“The DOE is encouraged by the active participation of 114 future investors that will help further accelerate the development of renewable energy in the country,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has noted.

The entry of foreign investors in geothermal in particular shall be underpinned by the Financial and Technical Assistant Agreement (FTAA), as earlier set forth by the energy department.

“Target contract awarding for non-financial and technical assistance projects will be on April 14, 2021, while those covered by the FTAA will be endorsed to the Office of the President for approval by April 19, 2021,” the DOE has specified.

For the targeted foreign investors in geothermal, the prescribed minimum capitalization had been pegged at US$50 million and it shall cover integrated steam resource development and power plant installation.

The DOE apprised investors that the PDAs “have sufficient available technical data to serve as initial reference by those who are interested to acquire rights to develop the RE resources.”

The five geothermal areas on offer include the 27-megawatt Daklan geothermal project; 9.0MW Itogon;

17MW Putting Lupa; 4.0MW Maricaban Island; and 30MW Mt Labo geothermal projects.

For proposed hydro facilities, these are the 0.8 Amlan Plant C; 3.2MW Amlan Plant A; 4.8MW Hilabangan Upper Cascade; 3.0MW Hilabangan Lower Cascade; 4.5MW Maninila Lower Cascade; 3.1MW Upper Cascade; 2.1MW Tibiao; 3.0MW Dalanas; and 4.0MW Sibalom Middle Cascade projects.

The others are: 3.0MW Aklan River Lower East; 2.4MW Aklan River Middle West; 2.4MW Aklan River Upper West; 0.3MW Vera Falls; 0.2MW Palali; 0.2MW Coyaoyao; 1.4MW Dapnan; and 52MW Balintingon hydroelectric power ventures.

During the launch and pre-submission conference on the auction for the specified RE ventures, Energy Assistant Secretary Robert Uy indicated that this is part of the government’s step to “help unlock the country’s RE potentials.”

He added “we have obtained encouraging results from the series of online stakeholders’ consultation we undertook in July 2020 and that we are very optimistic in this OCSP-3.”

The energy department has been aggressively enticing foreign firms to invest in the country’s geothermal projects, although it was still failing on its initial attempts.

Energy Undersecretary Emmanuel Juaneza further sounded off the department’s commitment “to promote renewable energy, with the hope that in time, renewables will figure prominently in the country’s energy future.”