THE Department of Energy (DoE) said Tuesday that it has received 44 applications for renewables service and operating contracts linked to projects with the potential to generate 1,479 megawatts (MW).

The proposals cover solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal projects, it said.

RE (renewable energy) operating contracts are service agreements between the DoE and the developer for biomass and solar projects that do not need to go through the pre-development stage. RE service contracts are service agreements giving the developer the exclusive right to explore, develop and use geothermal, hydro, wind and ocean resources in a defined area.

The project with the highest potential capacity was the 500-MW Balsa Pumped Storage Hydropower facility in San Jose, Tarlac, which was proposed by Strategic Power Development Corp.

Hydropower plants attracted 26 applications, solar 10, and wind five.

In a separate announcement, the DoE said it awarded a “for-own-use” wind project to the Department of Science and Technology’s Industrial Technology Development Institute in San Pablo City, Laguna.

The DoE on Tuesday also released the summary of its RE projects, announcing that the segment had an estimated generating capacity of 26.85 million MWh (megawatt-hour) as of the end of September.

Under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the government is required to accelerate the exploration and development of RE resources. — Angelica Y. Yang