Regulator studying market share caps

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THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is studying the market share limitations (MSL) applicable for this year to the regional and national grids.

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The agency is mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001 to set the limits annually.

It aims “to prevent a person, company, related group or Independent Power Producer Administrator (IPPA), singly or in combination, to own, operate, or control more than 30 percent of the Installed Generating Capacity (IGC) of a grid, and/or 25 percent of the national IGC.

ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said the agency was now in talks with Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) and the Grid Management Committee (GMC) in determining the 2016 market share limitations.

“We are pressuring PEMC to submit their report because we discussed it with them in December, they have a preliminary position,” Salazar said.

In the case of GMC, Salazar said the committee’s role was important as their inputs would determine the implications of alternatives to be recommended by PEMC.

“We want to know the implications … when we implement the options that are going to be presented to us,” Salazar said.

He said GMC was already preparing a report but had yet to form a technical working group.

“They [are seeking]… help from our internal staff. We told them it’s really urgent,” he said.

An ongoing study, Salazar said, will “hopefully” be finished later this month.

Last year there was a slight increase in both the IGC and its limit by 11 percent from 2013.

The adjustments take into consideration, among others, the capacities of certain power plants; new and recomissioned facilities, and additional output from independent power producers.

The National Power Corp. and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. are exempted from the MSL during the period that the former’s assets are being privatized.

Power plants located in isolated grids that are not connected to high voltage transmission systems are also exempted.

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