Manufacturing firms sign up for 100% RE power contracts

Manufacturing facilities in the country have been the "first movers" in signing up power supply agreements (PSAs) for 100 percent renewable energy (RE) for their electricity requirements.

Initially, 17 contracts have already been registered by the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), which is acting as the central registration body on customer-switching for the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) of the Renewable Energy Act.

According to Katrina Garcia-Amuyot, IEMOP manager for registration and stakeholder services, the trendsetter-companies in cornering GEOP-anchored RE power supply deals had been the retail electricity supplier (RES) business arms of First Gen Corporation, Aboitiz Power Corporation and ACEN Corporation of the Ayala group.

“Most of the GEOP customers who registered are manufacturing firms,” she said adding that geothermal and solar installations are the preferred RE.

Many corporations prefer green technologies in meeting their energy needs because this will underpin their sustainability and net zero goals under the climate change diplomacy of the Paris agreement as well as compliance to environmental, social and governance (ESG) instituted frameworks enforced by the government.

Under the GEOP policy, end-users with prescribed consumption base of at least 100 kilowatts (kW) can contract power directly from their preferred RE retail suppliers as that will give them leverage to negotiate for price and volume. They can also select the kind of green energy facility that will cater to their power needs.

Power suppliers under GEOP will need to secure operating permit from the Department of Energy (DOE) and RES license from the Energy Regulatory Commission. Currently, there are 14 companies that are already accredited to offer RE capacities under GEOP, as noted by IEMOP.

The ERC previously made pronouncement that the existing RES catering to customers under the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) can be automatically certified as participants in the GEOP after securing operating permits from the DOE.

ERC rules provide that the RES wanting to be automatically enlisted in the GEOP just need to submit the required documents -- including proof of billing from at least one customer of open access for two years or a sworn statement of the customer attesting to the fact that it has a contract with the applicant for the last two years.

Other requirements are articles of incorporation or partnership with certificate of registration or business name registration certificate, as well as RE supplier information sheet; proof of contract with RE facility and compliance certificate of the RE facility.

At the DOE, the processing of RE supplier applications shall be carried out by the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB), the entity to recommend approval or denial of operating permits’ issuance.

The policy on 100 percent RE contracting was advanced under the law so the targeted next wave of RE investments in the country would flourish. That edict provides alternative market to the generated capacities of the renewable energy investors.