DOE pursues power loading plan

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Despite the sufficient power supply in Luzon, the Department of Energy (DOE) will continue its Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

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The ILP is a program that encourages heavy electricity consumers such as shopping malls, condominiums and companies to run their own generator sets to ease demand from the grid.

The measure was implemented by the government through the DOE to help address the supposed power shortage last summer.

According to the DOE, it is tirelessly inviting more participants to join in the ILP.

Bases on DOE’s figures, as of March 8, there were already 79 registered ILP participants under Manila Electric Company (Meralco) with a capacity of 393.36 megawatts (MW).

In addition to this, there are 207 contestable customer participants from the members of the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association (RESA) with a capacity of 497.29MW.

Still leading is SM Prime Holdings Inc. (185.61MW), followed by Robinsons Land Corporation (23.15MW) and Waltermart Malls (14.30MW).

Meralco earlier conducted two ILP dry runs to test the operational effectiveness of the protocols.

While pursuing the passage of a Joint Resolution giving the President emergency authority to deal with a power supply crisis although ultimately unsuccessfully, the DOE also released a Department Circular “Enjoining all Electricity-Consuming Sectors to Implement Demand-Side Management Program and other Energy Conservation Measures.”

This circular, which encompasses both the public and private sectors, invites all business establishments and households to join the Department in implementing energy efficiency methods.

This includes setting cooling systems to no lower than 25 degrees Celsius, particularly from 10 am to 2pm, the time of the day when Luzon has its highest energy demand.

The ILP was not used last summer, as there were no major power outages recorded.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) expanded the ILP rules in anticipation of the need to implement the program in earnest.

Under the amended rules, contestable customers and directly connected customers of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) would also be included in the ILP.

The existing ILP rules allow only distribution utilities such as Meralco to implement the program.

The expanded ILP rules are expected to boost the delo ading capacity of the grid, as more companies will be joining the scheme.

The amended rules require the distribution utilities or the NGCP to call on the ILP participants as soon as a grid goes on red alert or when there is a severe power deficiency.

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