DOE to conduct two green energy auctions by end-2024

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The Department of Energy (DOE) says that the government is planning to end 2024 with two green energy auctions; with the largest auction to slated for next year.

Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said that the DOE is gearing to summon bidders for the third and fourth rounds of the Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP) that would offer at least 11,000 megawatts of capacity.

Guevara added that for the third round of GEAP, the energy department would auction 3,000 megawatts (MW) of geothermal, impounding hydro, and pumped-storage hydro.

“This is an exciting year, kasi this year, meron tayong green energy auction number three. For GEA-3, ang target namin ay geothermal, pumped-storage hydro, run-of-river hydro, impounding hydro. We are bidding out, I think, more than 3,000 MW,” said Guevara.

Additionally, 8,200 MW would be auctioned in the fourth round, which would include energy storage systems (ESS). ESS is a technology that can absorb energy directly from the grid or distribution system.

Guevara explained the positive advantages of ESS, saying that if the plants offer 100 MW, the NGCP would also ask for the same number in terms of transmission capacity.

However, with the help of ESS, if the plants opt to charge the battery, flywheel, or pump storage systems, they could reduce their required capacity from 100 MW to just 75MW, utilizing additional solar power for battery charging.

Moreover, RE technology and energy storage,once combined, could reap the same benefits in terms of incentives.

When questioned why ESS would now take part in the auction, Guevara said the transmission system takes another ten years to build, adding, “In the meantime, pag labas ng planta, yung variable renewable energy, hindi masyadong variable, medyo steady siya and to do that, kailangan mo ng energy storage system. So yung GEA-4 would be RE plus ESS.”

The DOE undersecretary also said that the department has been preparing for the fifth round of the green power auction, which could attract significant key players as it would now involve offshore wind, which could reach 3,000 to 6,000 megawatts (MW), and they had been eyeing for the round to commence in the middle of 2025.

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