Mall, property groups join power augmentation scheme

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Some of the biggest Philippine conglomerates have committed to reduce their power demand on the Luzon grid by as much as 110 megawatts by using their own generators to ensure that there is enough supply during the summer season.

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Under the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), a scheme introduced by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), large power users such as malls and other commercial establishments will be asked to operate their own generator sets if the grid operator forecasts a need to augment generation capacity in the Luzon Grid.

In doing so, these commercial establishments will get paid and may even sell their excess power to the grid.

Conglomerates that have committed to the program include the Henry Sy-led SM Group, Andrew Tan’s Megaworld Corp., John Gokongwei’s Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), and the property arm of Ayala Group, Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), among others.

Meralco president Oscar Reyes said that barring unforeseen problems, the supply outlook for the rest of the summer is stable but should there be a need for additional capacity, it will be met through the ILP.

“We have clarity and visibility of scheduled maintenance. There are still some plants that are out. If there are no surprise outages, then there should be adequate power,” Reyes said.

“But we have the ILP initially launched. We have 110 megawatts that we sort of arranged with the commercial and industrial customers. We can call into it once NGCP [National Grid Operation Corp.] announces a red alert,” he added.

Alfredo Panlilio, Meralco senior vice president and head for Customer Retail Services, said that under the program, SM Group has pledged to deload 56 MW; RLC, 22 MW; ALI, 8 MW; Shangri-La, 7 MW; while Ortigas and Megaworld, 4 MW; and Waltermart, 6 MW.

“It is only an insurance at this point,” Panlilio explained.

Meralco said it invited more than 100 companies with large backup generating sets to participate in the program.

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