Lone bidder gets contract to build micro power grids

Lone bidder bags contract to build micro power grids

MANILA, Philippines — A consortium of Philippine and Singaporean companies was granted a contract to provide through microgrid systems round-the-clock electricity supply to eight unserved areas in the provinces of Cebu, Quezon and Palawan, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

The Maharlika Consortium—composed of homegrown Maharlika Clean Power Holdings Corp. and Singapore-based firms CleanGrid Partners Pte Ltd. and WEnergy Global Pte Ltd.—won the first round of the competitive selection process (CSP) for the microgrid systems service provider (MGSP).

Even if the Maharlika group was the lone entity that submitted offers, the DOE said the bids “passed the criteria set for the auction.”


In particular, Maharlika’s offers were found to be in order in relation to the CSP’s terms of reference, as well as Republic Act No. 11646 or the Micro Grid Systems Act and its implementing rules and regulations.


READ: DOE seeks investors to build microgrids in remote areas

The DOE issued the notice of award to the consortium during the ceremonial signing held Tuesday at its main office in Taguig City.

Competitive selection process

According to the agency, the consortium will build and operate a hybrid microgrid system — composed of a solar photovoltaic, energy storage system and a diesel generator set — no later than 18 months after executing the microgrid systems service contract with state-run National Power Corp.

Rates to be imposed for supplying electricity in eight unserved areas will be subject to the Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval and will be subsidized under the universal charge for missionary electrification (UCME) for 20 years.

READ: Off-grid power users face more rate hikes

UCME is one of the items collected by power distributors from electricity end-users in areas connected to the power grids. It finances the missionary electrification programs and projects of Napocor.


Before Maharlika Consortium became the microgrid systems provider, eight other entities were pre-qualified to participate in the competitive bidding: DMCI Power Corp., Smart Power Solutions Corp., Alternative Power Resource Holdings Inc., MSpectrum Inc., Powersources OEG Services Inc., One Renewable Energy Enterprise Inc., FP Island Energy Corp. and Vivant Energy Corp.

Microgrid Systems Act of 2022 mandates the conduct of the bidding before authorizing any entity to put up microgrid systems in off-grid areas. It provides a 90-day timeline from pre-qualification to contract submission to the ERC.

Another auction in 2024

The DOE is scheduled to hold the second round of the CSP for microgrid systems service providers within the year for new areas as well as those areas with no proposals received during the previous auction.

READ: Microgrid systems to boost electrification

The agency intends to enhance the terms of reference and streamline processes to encourage greater participation from the private sector.

The DOE said it continues to collaborate with relevant distribution utilities, the National Electrification Administration and Napocor “to comprehensively validate the identified unserved and underserved areas.”

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“This validation process is essential as these areas may either undergo further assessment for inclusion in the MGSP-CSP or necessitate identifying alternative solutions where microgrid systems may not be viable,” the agency added.

TAGS: bidding, Department of Energy, Micro power grids

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