The country’s sole power grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is encouraging its directly connected customers to participate in its Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to help ease load requirements of the grid during high demand times.
The ILP is a demand-side management scheme set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to help ease the impact of tight supply during yellow and red alert periods.
When consumers such as large malls, industrial plants, and economic zones use non-grid sources of electricity, NGCP is able to minimize or prevent manual power curtailment or load dropping when there is not enough power in the system, specifically, when the system net operating reserve is less than 350 megawatts. Imminent power shortages will temporarily be addressed.
“Theoretically, any consumer connected to the grid who also has a back-up generation unit is a potential ILP supplier,” NGCP stated.
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has directed NGCP to pursue its ILP after a meeting to address the recent spate of power deficiencies.
The ILP rules of the ERC apply “to all DUs (distribution utilities) and their respective participating captive customers within their franchise areas, to all DUs that entered into a tripartite ILP agreement with a retail electricity supplier (RES) and its participating contestable customers, and the NGCP that entered into an ILP agreement with a participating directly-connected customer.”
Under this program, NGCP’s Directly Connected Customers (DCC) may voluntarily enter into an agreement, where they may be requested to run back-up generators to partially decrease or completely cease drawing power from the grid in times of an electricity supply shortage. This will provide all grid-connected consumers with a more stable supply of electricity. Conversely, participating DCCs will be compensated for the internally generated power by NGCP through a formula provided by ERC.
The program was initially developed in 2010 by the ERC for implementation by DUs in Visayas and Mindanao to address the imminent power shortage in those regions.
In 2014, the ERC also allowed Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to implement the same program within its franchise area. The program was further extended to other DUs, ecozones, and NGCP’s directly connected customers in 2015.