ERC plans to expand Interruptible Load Program
MANILA, Philippines – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) plans to include the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in the voluntary grid disconnection program which is aimed at averting a looming power crisis in the summer of 2015.
On November 26, the ERC will meet with industry stakeholders to discuss the planned revision of the Interruptible Load Program.
Current rules of the ILP only covers distribution utilities (DUs) such as the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). (READ: Meralco asks malls, factories to use gen sets when supply is tight)
By including the NGCP, the energy-regulating body said the proposed amendment would require NGCP and its directly connected customers to participate in the ILP.
“These rules shall apply to all DUs and their respective participating captive customer within their franchise area, to all DUs that entered into a tripartite ILP agreement with a retail electricity supplier (RES) and its participating contestable customers, and the NGCP that entered into an ILP agreement with a participating directly-connected customer,” the ERC said in its draft.
The ILP is hoped to lessen pressure to available power supply in March 2015 due to a higher demand in summer.
To ensure proper implementation, the ERC would also require NGPC to submit a monthly report, detailing its calculations of the de-loading compensation.
As a government body that regulates the power sector, it explained that including the NGCP in the ILP would “protect the public interest as it is affected by the rates and services of the DUs and NGCP, ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electric power service, and help maintain the security, reliability and quality of the supply of electric power.”
The country’s power transmission network is operated by Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation led by Robert Coyjuto, Jr. and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC).
The consortium is in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid under a 25-year concession agreement.
At least 700 megawatts is needed to solve power deficit next year, according to the Department of Energy.
As a way of addressing this, ILP participants commit to disconnect from the Luzon grid and source their power elsewhere.
In line with this, the ERC is also urging heavy consumers to use their own generator sets rather than sourcing electricity from the grid.
The government’s reliance to the ILP program has been faced with doubts due to its voluntary nature.
But House Energy Committee chair Reynaldo Umali is preparing a resolution which would give incentives to ILP participants. The resolution, which includes giving “limited” emergency powers to President Aquino, is underway and is bound to be passed on November 17.
The ILP program has been tapped to muster an adequate power reserve commitment as the Energy department struggles to quantify power reserves from companies. –Rappler.com
Photo of high-voltage towers courtesy of Shutterstock.