By Angelica Y. Yang

SIX suppliers of renewable energy, including entities led by Aboitiz and Ayala businesses, have been granted permits to participate in the country’s “green energy option” program, giving them the lead in offering electricity to consumers who prefer cleaner power sources.

On Wednesday, the Department of Energy (DoE) posted on its website the names of the six eligible companies, namely: Bacman Geothermal, Inc.; First Gen Energy Solutions, Inc.; SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc.; SN Aboitiz Power-Res, Inc.; AC Energy Philippines, Inc.; and the Sparc-Solar Powered Agri-Rural Communities Corp.

Mylene C. Capongcol, director of the DoE’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB), said the six companies are the first ones to file operating permits for the green energy option program, or GEOP.

“Their applications are evaluated based on the guidelines issued by the DoE,” she said in a quoted in a statement provided by the department’s public affairs office via Viber on Wednesday.

The program, which was launched in 2018, is a voluntary policy mechanism that allows consumers with at least 100 kilowatts (kW) of usage to source their supply from a retail energy supplier (RES), based on a DoE circular issued about three years ago.

Before joining the GEOP, suppliers must secure an operating permit from the DoE’s REMB. A GEOP operating permit authorizes a firm to supply electricity to a qualified end-user.

Asked whether the six firms were the only ones allowed to supply green energy, Ms. Capongcol said: “No, we are not limiting to the six RE suppliers. Our issuance of GEOP Operating Permits follows prescribed criteria as per our issued policy.”

In April last year, the DoE issued the guidelines for suppliers that wanted to participate in the program.

In September, Ms. Capongcol said that the department would be awarding its first operating permit to a retail electricity supplier.

Based on a department circular titled “Guidelines governing the issuance of operating permits to renewable energy suppliers under the green energy option program,” suppliers under the GEOP are required to:

• Comply with the terms and conditions of the operating permit, circular provisions and GEOP rules;

• Submit annual reports to the REMB on or before Jan. 30;

• Ensure that the total power from its facilities are greater or equal to the total kilowatt hour (kWh) sold to its consumers;

• Register in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market and with the Central Registration Body before supplying power to end-users; and

• Register with the RE Registrar.

The GEOP allows more end-users to access clean power from qualified RE firms.