STATE-LED National Power Corp. (Napocor) said it targets to complete the bidding process for the Accelerated Hybridization Program (AHP) soon to allow private companies to put up renewables in off-grid areas.

“We made an innovative structure, so they are doing the line-by-line review of the bidding documents and the terms of reference,” Ferdinand Martin Y. Roxas, Napocor president and chief executive officer, told reporters on the sidelines of a forum last week.

“Hopefully it becomes approved soon and we are able to bid out by end of May or June,” he added. 

The AHP is aimed at allowing the private sector to build renewable energy generation plants or facilities to supplement, augment, or replace the existing capacities in the operations of Napocor’s Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) diesel power plants.

Under the program, Napocor plans to bid out four clusters of off-grid areas such as Batanes, Palawan, Bicol, and Tawi-Tawi.

“So, if this became successful, we will think about applying it to the rest of other power plants,” Mr. Roxas said.

Mr. Roxas said that the bidding will be under a 20-year contract wherein Napocor will serve as the offtaker and will pay for the energy delivered to its switchyard, including losses.

“It is technologically agnostic, as long as it’s RE (renewable energy). We will pay them the SAGR (Subsidized Approved Generation Rate). If the SAGR goes up, we will pay 50% each,” Mr. Roxas. 

However, he said that if the SAGR goes down, Napocor will “not pay them below what they bid.”

Napocor said that the program aims to reduce the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification subsidies, the use of diesel fuel and its cost.

The agency is mandated to provide electricity to areas that are not connected to the transmission system, through SPUG plants. At present, Napocor operates 272 SPUG plants, mostly powered by diesel in 222 areas. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera