DOE to amend RE contract rules to include offshore wind


The Department of Energy (DOE) is looking to amend the guidelines that govern the awarding of renewable energy contracts to include offshore wind technology. 

In the draft circular, it was stated that the omnibus RE guidelines do not account for new and emerging technologies, including peculiarities among and between various wind technologies, adding that the requirements, timeline, and procedures included were generally applied to both offshore and onshore wind energy development. 

“Cognizant of the peculiarities of OSW development, the DOE deemed it necessary to review, assess and determine the appropriateness of the existing policies and guidelines for OSW development, timelines-based development stage, the requirements, qualifications, and procedures in the award of OSW Energy Service Contracts (OSWESCs),” DOE said in the draft circular. 

In the draft circular, the financial qualifications of OSWESC applicants will be evaluated based on financial capability in funding the cost of activities for the first three years of the contract. 

Developers shall complete the pre-development activities within five years and must submit the plan of development and proof of financial closing at the end of the pre-development stage. 

Prior to the end of the predevelopment stage, companies must submit an application for a declaration of commerciality (DOC). With the confirmation of the DOC, the Energy Department will issue a confirmation of commerciality certificate 

The development stage is equivalent to a balance of 25 years reckoned from the award of the OSWESC. 

Following the awarding of the OSWESC, the DOE will issue a certificate of registration in order to avail of the applicable incentives under the Renewable Energy Act. 

A study by DOE and the World Bank Group earlier revealed that the country has a potential of 178 gigawatts of offshore wind resources.