More firms join ILP to help address power shortage

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THREE more big companies have agreed to participate in the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to help reduce the strain on power demand in the Luzon grid next summer.

Under the ILP program, participating customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) with large power loads, such as commercial establishments, operate their own generator sets if there is a need to augment generation capacity in the Luzon grid.

This frees up some of Meralco’s power supply, although Meralco customers would foot the bill for the generators’ maintenance and operating costs.

Larry Fernandez, head of Meralco’s utility economics, said on Wednesday that real estate developer Ayala Land Inc. and telecommunications firms Philippine Long Distance Co. (PLDT) and Sun Cellular have already committed to participate in
ILP.


This brings to19 the total number of companies that will be participating in the ILP, a measure that aims to mitigate power shortage during peak demand season, usually during the summer.

Fernandez said that from 123 megawatts (MW) of committed interruptible load (CIL) as of September 24, it now has 133 MW of CIL, mainly due to the addition of Ayala Land among the roster of ILP participants. Ayala has committed nine MW.

“We still hope to have more participants and are in active discussions with several companies with a cumulative potential deloading capacity of 71 MW,” said Fernandez.

He also expressed confidence that more companies will also sign up for ILP.

“We are confident that we will be able to sign up some of these within the next few days or weeks,” he added.

At the same time, Fernandez said they have also been working with the government to identify public buildings with generating sets that may be tapped for ILP.

“From our surveys, we have identified certain government establishments (national and LGUs) with a cumulative generating set capacity of around 79 MW and submitted this information to the Technical Working Group of the Joint Congressional Power Commission,” he said.

He added that coordination is also ongoing with Retail Electricity Suppliers (RESs) to invite their contestable customers into the ILP.

Fernandez said briefings for these customers are being conducted ,such as the forum held last September 17 by MPower, the Local RES arm of Meralco.

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