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Power stakeholders assure sufficient energy supply in luzon

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Power stakeholders, including the various generation companies have assured cooperation with the Department of Energy (DoE) to provide sufficient energy supplies in the entire Luzon grid, particularly in the summer months.

The stakeholders made the pledge even as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) called on consumers to settle their bills to allow power producers and distributors sustain their operations and provide uninterrupted supply of energy.

The assurance was made as Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi convened the Energy family to assess the power situation in Luzon and ensure that there will be enough supply
“We are constantly reminded by Secretary Cusi that we must ensure the efficient delivery of basic energy services to the people. We have to do better,” Undersecretary Emmanuel P. Juaneza told the participants of the three-hour meeting organized by the Electrical Power Industry Management (EPIMB) Bureau.

The discussion focused on the anticipated issues relative to ensuring sufficient power capacities in the Luzon Grid.

In his opening statement, Juaneza cited the need to have sufficient power supply and prevent power outages that inconveniences the consumers and disrupts business operations during the country’s recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

The official also thanked the National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO), National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), the GenCos, and the other participants for attending the online meeting “to resolve some issues that may have a significant impact in our upcoming summer season, particularly for the Luzon grid.”

Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola, for his part, requested the GenCos for their cooperation and support in terms of arranging their schedules and perhaps, the realignment of their activities to be able to maintain sufficient supply for the grid.

“We have seen a lot of plant outages in the past few weeks and some of these have been extended towards the summer months. Considering the existing maintenance schedules of plants, we may have to realign our activities for the year to ensure the level of sufficient supply,” Asec. Delola pointed out.

Pay long-overdue bills
Earlier, the ERC encouraged able consumers to settle their long-overdue electric bills, lest the supply chain will collapse.

This, after ERC chair and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera said that the ERC is now leaving the disconnection policy to the discretion of distribution utilities.

The stakeholders made the pledge even as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) called on consumers to settle their bills to allow power producers and distributors sustain their operations and provide uninterrupted supply of energy.

“We always study what can be done because we are all in the same situation. And, since (the economy) is now opening, many have returned to work. If our citizens expect the ERC to order a ‘No Disconnection’ policy, it’s up to the distribution utilities because the situation is different,” Devanadera said.

“The distribution utilities and the electric cooperatives also need to sustain their power supply. We also need to help them, if we can afford to pay. And, often, we can,” she added.

Electric cooperatives and power distributors, including Meralco, have been shouldering this cost for over 10 months since the onset of Covid-19 in 2020.

Good power outlook
Also present in the meeting were representatives from the GenCos, which include First NatGas Power Corporation (FNPC), First Gas Power Corporation (FGPC), Aboitiz Power Corporation (APC), Therma Luzon, Inc. (TLI), Therma Mobile, Inc. (TMO), AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI), GNPower Mariveles Energy Center Ltd. Co. (GMEC), GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. (GNPD), San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC), Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. (MPPCL), Quezon Power (Philippines) Ltd. Co. (QPL), San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL), TeaM Sual Corporation (TSC), TeaM Energy Corporation (TEC), Pagbilao Energy Corporation (TEC), Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation (SLPGC), Sem-Calaca Power Corporation (SCPC), KEPCO Ilijan Corporation (KEILCO), and AC Energy Inc. (ACEN).

“This is a very good start of the year. What we did today shows the collaboration and cooperation between the DOE and the industry players to guarantee consumers a stable and reliable power supply. I hope this year will be better than what we had last year,

The NGCP presented a “good” power outlook for 2021 based on the DOE forecast and submitted power plant maintenance schedules. However, to improve the situation further, the GenCos requested some adjustments on their schedules.

The DOE advised the GenCos to submit a formal documentation of their requests so that the NGCP will revise the grid maintenance program.

Meanwhile, PSALM assured that Malaya, one of the contingency plants, will be ready in case it will be tapped by the NGCP. PSALM will build up the required fuel inventory by next week, and, as part of preventive maintenance, heat run tests will be conducted anytime this month. TransCo, for its part, said that they are working with the NGCP.

The ERC, during the meeting, briefed the attendees on the recently released resolution adopting the rules for the Interim Reliability Performance Indices and Equivalent for planned and unplanned outages days based on the actual performance of the generating units per technology.

“This is a very good start of the year. What we did today shows the collaboration and cooperation between the DOE and the industry players to guarantee consumers a stable and reliable power supply. I hope this year will be better than what we had last year,” Usec. Juaneza concluded.

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