“ENHANCED” rules to encourage greater participation in the government’s net-metering program should be ready by month’s end, allowing commercial and industrial establishments with their own renewable energy generation systems to sell their excess capacity to the distribution utility, the Department of Energy (DoE) said.
The enhancements include allowing these establishments to participate in the department’s program that allows them to contribute to the supply of electricity during power supply shortages or emergency situations.
“There’s two more pubcons (public consultations) for this. We’ll be having [one] on the 10th [of October] in Cebu to cater for the Visayan stakeholders, and then [in] Davao on Oct. 24,” Mylene C. Capongcol, director of the department’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB), told reporters during the Metro Manila leg of consultations on Tuesday in Taguig City.
Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella said the enhanced rules, which will be issued in a circular, should be ready “within the year, baka (maybe) within the month.
Based on the draft circular, “own-use” renewable energy (RE) systems with a capacity of at least 100 kilowatts (kW) may export their excess energy generation into the grid.
The move is meant to maximize the development and utilization of potential RE resources, while supporting the obligation of the power distribution utilities under the renewable portfolio standards (RPS), or the market-based policy that requires electric power industry participants, including suppliers, to source a portion of their energy supply from eligible RE resources.
“We’re now introducing the concept of renewable energy installed at the consumer’s premises or distributed [system by] injecting power into the grid to make more available supply for a particular franchise area,” Ms. Capongcol said.
“The intention is to attain supply security [and] introduce a mechanism in which potential supply will be available, and there’s a regulation and policy in place,” she added.
She said the concept is similar to the interruptible load program (ILP) in which big establishments with their own diesel-powered generation sets are called on by the distribution utility to switch on their systems to help cover the deficiency in power supply.
Mr. Fuentebella said the participation of the establishments are on a voluntary basis. They will also be compensated by the distribution based on the “blended” generation rate or “time-of-use” rate.
The blended rate is the weighted average rate of all the energy generation sources of the utility. The time-of-use rate is an energy pricing scheme that allows a utility to offer rates on the time of day when electricity is generated and the cost of supplying it to customers during these specific periods. — Victor V. Saulon