MORE companies have joined the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP), boosting electric capacity ahead of the expected power shortfall this summer.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), as of March 8, there were already 890.65 megawatts (MW) of committed deloading from various companies and contestable customer participants.
The deloading capacity came from 79 registered ILP participants under power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco), and 207 contestable customer participants from the members of the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association (RESA).
Meralco customers committed 393.36 MW deloading capacity while RESA members assured 497.29 MW.
“This [participation]can be credited to the Department’s persistent promotion and invitation to potential participants in multiple industries in the country,” the agency said in a statement.
Among the top participants were SM Prime Holdings Inc. (185.61 MW), followed by Robinsons Land Corp. (23.15 MW) and Waltermart Malls (14.30 MW).
In preparation for an anticipated power shortage in Luzon this summer, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla is tirelessly inviting more participants to join in the ILP.
By joining the ILP, owners of generating sets would be asked to deload from the Luzon Grid and to use their own gensets at certain hours.
In turn, the government shall reimburse owners of self-generating facilities (SGFs) for their fuel expenses from using their backup generators during tight supply.
Meralco also conducted an ILP dry run to test the operational effectiveness of the protocols.
On the first dry-run, Meralco said out of the 322 signed up, 216 or 67 percent confirmed activation of their own generators when they were notified by voice call, email and text.
Lawrence Fernandez, Meralco vice president and head of utility economics, said the deloaded energy was equivalent to 457 MW throughout the dry-run day, or around 74 percent of the potential cumulative deloading capacity of 617 MW.
“We express our appreciation to the companies that activated during the dry-run, and are working with each of the accounts that were unable to de-load to better understand and hopefully address the reason they were not able to activate when called upon,” said Fernandez.
The House of Representatives estimates a maximum projected supply shortfall of 782 MW from March to July 2015.
Based on DOE projections, the 782 MW is for the required regulating reserve (135 MW) and the required contingency reserve (647 MW) during the summer months this year.
The two Houses of Congress have passed Joint Resolution 21, which authorizes President Benigno Aquino 3rd to establish additional generating capacity for the Luzon grid through ILP.