DoE floats scheme allowing proponents to identify potential biomass, WTE sites

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has drafted rules that will allow the awarding of biomass energy operating contracts (BEOCs) and waste to energy operating contracts (WTEOCs) to developers who propose such projects.

“Direct Application shall be available for the selection and award of BEOC/WTEOC in an area available for development and/or utilization of biomass/waste-to-energy resources,” the DoE said in a draft circular released on Sept. 18.

The DoE said it will not require contracts for biomass and waste-to-energy projects intended for the proponent’s own use or for noncommercial purposes, though the proponents are still required to comply with registration requirements.

Registration is required through the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop alongside a letter of intent to develop a specific area to fulfill the mapping requirements. Proponents are also required to provide proof of access to the proposed area, the DoE said.

Developers are given a non-extendible period of three years from the execution date of the contracts to achieve commercial operations of the biomass/waste-to-energy project.

“The BEOC/WTEOC shall have a term of 25 years from the date of execution, which shall include the Development/Commercial Stage but shall exclude the period covered by the Certificate of Authority,” it said.

“Not earlier than six months prior to the expiration of the 25-year period, the BEOC/WTEOC may be renewed for another 25 years, subject to the terms and conditions of the BEOC/WTEOC,” it added.

The contracts will only cover the development or commercial stage of the project, while new investments outside the contract area will need to apply for a new contract.

The DoE said it drafted the circular to harmonize previous issuances “for the effective and efficient award and administration of RE (renewable energy) contracts and registration of RE developers.” — Sheldeen Joy Talavera