THE Department of Energy (DOE) will soon adopt the One-Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center (OSFMC) in a bid to facilitate and fast-track renewable energy (RE) projects in the country.
This developed after the OSFMC, a program spearheaded by Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) together with the DOE and concerned government agencies involved in the application process of RE projects, was tested in Mindanao to hasten the application for RE projects.
"While we started it in Mindanao, this (OSFMC) is going to be adopted by DOE as a national program soon. They will call it Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (Evoss)," Romeo Montenegro, Minda director of investment promotions and public affairs, told Sun.Star Davao in an interview.
He said Evoss will have the same monitoring and facilitation assistance like OSFMC but this time will include projects in Luzon and Visayas.
"This is sort of a trailblazing initiative done by MinDA, which is to be adopted nationally by DOE. Essentially to facilitate and accelerate deployment of RE projects," Montenegro said.
He said that generally, RE project applications would have a long process as compared to non-renewable energy projects.
For example, Montenegro said a diesel or coal-fired power plant will take two to three years in regulatory approval as compared to the five to seven years process of hydropower projects.
He said the reason why RE projects take a while when it comes to regulatory approvals is it has to go through tedious processing by the government agencies.
"That is why, in light of the need to increase the mix of RE, we have to do something to facilitate and accelerate approval of RE project applications and that is why this particular one-stop shop facilitation is set-up," Montenegro said.
At present, there are a total of 231 pending RE projects, with a potential capacity of some 2,419, in Mindanao being facilitated and monitored by the OSFMC.
Many of the pending projects are hydro totaling 178 with a combined capacity of 1,631.09 MW.
There are also 32 solar projects with a potential capacity of 358.95 MW.
Other RE projects are eight geothermal projects with a potential capacity of 278.48 MW; 12 biomass power projects with a potential capacity of 144.65 MW; and one ocean energy project with a potential capacity of 6 MW.
The projects are in various stages of applications. Some have already been awarded with service contracts while others have yet to receive one.