• 4 geothermal, 20 hydropower projects set for auction

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    FOUR more geothermal and 20 hydropower exploration areas will be auctioned by the government under the open and competitive selection process.

    According to Mario Marasigan, director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) of the Department of Energy (DOE), the formal offering will be launched this month.

    He said the open and competitive selection process for geothermal and hydropower exploration sites is set on December 15 while the awarding is set in June next year.

    The DOE identified three of the four new geothermal areas for private sector development as Banton Island in Romblon, Balut Island in Davao del Sur and Maricaban Island in Batangas.

    The open and competitive selection process is part of the government’s move to secure the country’s future energy requirements and reduce dependence on imported fuel.

    Marasigan said all the sites have been the subject of previous studies conducted by the DOE, National Power Corp. (Napocor) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

    “There are areas that have previous studies. By offering these sites, we give the opportunity for the private sector to generate additional capacity,” Marasigan said.

    He said each geothermal site has a capacity of around 20-30 megawatts (MW) while the hydropower potential ranges from 1 MW to 225 MW.

    Marasigan said the DOE has already completed stakeholder consultations for the Mindanao and Luzon sites while stakeholder consultations for the Visayas are in the final leg.

    Based on the agency’s guidelines for the open and competitive selection process for geothermal, the contract will be awarded to the proponent with the best counter proposal for the geothermal project.

    The evaluation will be based on legal, technical and financial criteria set by the Renewable Energy Review Committee.

    The DOE is aiming to bring geothermal capacity to about 3,500 MW by 2030 from around 2,000 MW to date and hydro capacity to 8,730 MW by 2030 from around 3,500 MW to date.

    Each megawatt generated by a geothermal or hydro site is estimated to cost between $2 million and $2.5 million to develop.

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