The Department of Energy (DoE) said it has certified 149 energy projects of national significance (EPNS) to date, with the approved projects involving investment of P795.52 billion.

An EPNS designation for major projects covering power generation, transmission or ancillary services entitles the proponent to expedited permits, having been deemed in line with the DoE’s objectives as set out in the Philippine Energy Plan.

“Out of 399 received applications, 149 were certified as CEPNS while 35 applications are still under evaluation,” the DoE said on its website, citing developments as of Jan. 20.

It also found 76 to be “non-compliant” in terms of documentary requirements while 139 were rejected.

Executive Order No. 30 sets the qualifying standard for EPNS status at a capital investment of at least P3.5 billion, with the potential to contribute to economic development and the balance of payments, or have an impact on the environment.

In a separate advisory Friday, the DoE said that 49% of EPNS applications came from coal, diesel or natural gas power plants. Renewable energy plants accounted for 27%, and transmission networks 18%.

Last month, the DoE said that it suspended the issuance of the EPNS certificates to “evaluate the department’s effectiveness in securing regulatory requirements of energy projects.”

“All applications… will be automatically migrated to the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) System,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said in an advisory that took effect on Dec. 10. The EVOSS is a web-based monitoring system for energy applications and a repository of project-related information and permits.

In its November update, the DoE approved four projects of national significance. These are Batangas Clean Energy’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminal Project and Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant Project; Bacman Geothermal Inc.’s Bacon-Manito Geothermal Expansion Project; and Excelerate Energy’s Luzon LNG. — Angelica Y. Yang