THE Department of Energy (DOE) has admitted that it only managed to get 600 megawatts from the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) out of the expected 1,000 MW needed to be able to help address an expected power shortage in the summer of 2015.
But Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said their efforts to convince other companies to join the program continue in order to be able to get as much stand-by power as possible on or before the first quarter of 2015.
Petilla added that of the 600 MW the DOE currently has from the ILP, only 370 MW could be used since the participants to the program are not expected to operate at the same time.
The DOE is expecting a shortage of 900 MW in reserves brought by the scheduled shutdown of several power plants including Malampaya.
Sen. Sergio Osmena 3rd has been pushing for the ILP as an alternative to a request of Malacanang for Congress to grant President Benigno Aquino 3rd special powers to address the looming power crisis next year.
Osmena, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said the government can get at least 1,000 MW from the ILP that are enough to avert power outages in 2015.
Through the ILP, the government asks big businesses to temporarily use their generator sets for a certain period of time in order to ease power demands from the main grid.
Osmena had insisted that there is no need for Congress to grant the President the special powers the Energy was suggesting since there are alternative means that could provide the power reserves next year.
Aside from the ILP, he said, the government can tap other power plants such as the Korea Electric Power Corp. in Batangas and the Malaya plant for additional power.
Congress, according to Osmena, could grant the President certain powes such as use of Malampaya funds and grant exemptions but not to buy or lease power generators.
The senator said Aquino does not need special powers to tap the ILP because the program has been in place in Cebu and Davao since 2010.
Petilla has expressed optimism that the DOE would be able to get needed commitment of companies to the ILP before March 2015.
He said many companies have voiced their intention to join the program. but the DOE are only counting those who already signed in the ILP.