Dearth of microgrid bidders blamed on lack of time to prepare proposals

Dearth of microgrid bidders blamed on lack of time to prepare proposals

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said the lack of time for potential proponents to prepare project proposals was behind the first auction for microgrid systems attracting only one bidder.

“There (was not enough time) for the proponents to come up with complete studies of the target areas,” Energy Assistant Secretary Mario C. Marasigan told reporters.

“That is one of our major considerations. Is there really a lack of information in the documents for our proponents to come up with a good proposal?,” he added.

On Dec. 27, the DoE concluded the opening of the bid proposals for the first microgrid service provider competitive selection process.

Of the nine pre-qualified bidders, the Maharlika Consortium submitted six complete bid proposals covering eight lots that include unserved areas in the provinces of Cebu, Quezon, and Palawan.

The Maharlika Consortium groups three companies — Clean Power Holdings, Inc., Singapore-based CleanGrid Partners Pte. Ltd., and Singapore-based renewable energy company WEnergy Global Pte. Ltd.

Under Republic Act No. 11646 or the Microgrid Systems Act, the Energy department is required to conduct a CSP for potential concessionaires seeking to serve off-grid areas.

The auction offered covered 98 unserved and underserved areas clustered into 49 lots with a total of over 15,000 households for potential connection.

“(The next auction) will be this year because our target is annual CSPs,” Mr. Marasigan said.

He said the DoE needs to revisit the terms of reference, which guide proponents in drafting their proposals.

“So if what is lacking is time, data and information, then we have to address those. It may call for some amendments in the terms of reference we used in the first CSP,” he said.

Mr. Marasigan said that they will start with the processing of the second round upon the completion of the process of evaluating the offers received.

“We have to consider our experience during the first conduct of CSP for microgrid systems (and apply it to) the succeeding (auctions) because we have to evaluate ourselves also,” he said.

The government is targeting to achieve full electrification by 2028.

In its National Total Electrification Roadmap, the DoE has identified 285 unserved areas and 122 underserved areas in off-grid locations that will be prioritized for tender to private sector investors through a CSP. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera