THE Department of Energy (DOE) released on Tuesday the amended rules on Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) program for off-grid areas.
RPS requires distribution utilities (DUs) to source an agreed portion of their supply from eligible RE resources. It is a policy mechanism under Republic Act no. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
The rollout of the RPS off-grid rules has been delayed due to the pandemic. The DOE said it was not able to undertake the capacity building among mandated participants and the individual determination of their RPS requirement. Following the conduct of public consultations last March, the agency moved to promulgate the revised guidelines.
Under the revised rules, the National Power Corporation-Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG) shall prepare a multi-year RPS compliance plan, which shall include plans and programs to minimize the use of conventional fuels for its power generation facilities in the off-grid and missionary areas. The DUs, National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) shall develop a system to support, among others, the capacity building of the mandated participants.
The mandated participants include generation companies, NPC-SPUG, DUs, local government units operating electric systems in off-grid areas, and other entities, which may later be identified by the DOE.
They shall ensure the compatibility of eligible RE facilities with existing plants and transmission or distribution systems in the missionary or off-grid areas. They have the option to contract minimum RPS requirements or construct their own RE facilities.
The DOE shall review the RPS off-grid rules every year to ensure its alignment with the National Renewable Energy Plan (NREP) and the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP). “Such review shall consider, among others, the emerging RE technologies and resources, the existence of registered RE projects and changes in the criteria of eligible RE facilities.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) shall develop a regulatory framework for the revised rules that will consider the impact of the RPS off-grid compliance with existing contractual agreements, the potential impact and cost arising from a mandated participant’s compliance, and the cost recovery mechanisms.
“To ensure that the objectives of this circular are met, the DOE and ERC shall conduct regular coordination meetings,” said the DOE.
The circular, signed on May 23 this year, shall take effect 15 days after its publication.