• Rules eased on genset power providers

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    The Energy Regulatory Commission plans to ease the rules on Interruptible Load Program (ILP) wherein companies operating generator sets are allowed to use and sell electricity to allow more participants and help ease the foreseen power shortage next year.

    The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) will be allowed to implement the ILP instead of only distribution utilities like the Manila Electric Co.

    NGCP’s direct customers can join and provide additional capacity. The ERC said prospective customers may come from contestable customers (CC) that already have an existing contract with Retail Electricity Suppliers (RES) and those directly connected customers (DCC) of the NGCP.

    Once the rules have been amended, DDCs and CCs will be allowed to participate in the ILP.

    “Consequently, there is a need to amend certain provisions of the current ILP Rules to be able to allow additional participants and contestable customers in the ILP and provide a transparent and reasonable recovery of the associated cost,” it added.

    Under the ILP, a DU and its participating customer can agree to fully or partially de-load from the DU during a set period.

    The House of Representatives has passed Joint Resolution 21, which authorizes President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd to establish additional generating capacity for the Luzon grid through ILP.

    The ILP is a program that encourages heavy electricity consumers such as shopping malls, condominiums and companies to run their own generator sets to ease demand from the grid.

    The Joint Resolution stipulates that ILP participants will be subsidized by the government for using their own power.

    Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chair of the House energy committee, said the fund for the subsidy will be sourced out from the multi-billion peso Malampaya fund.

    The ERC pointed out that the expanded rules would address the imminent power shortage and augment the limited power requirements not only of the Visayas and Mindanao but also of Luzon grid.

    Based on Congress’ estimates,  there is a maximum projected supply shortfall of 782 megawatts (MW) from March to July 2015.

    At least 135 MW is needed to meet the required regulating reserve while 647 MW is needed for the required contingency reserve.

    Umali said 800 MW has been committed by various companies that have signed up for the ILP.

    The DOE has given private genset owners until January 31, 2015 to register for the program to qualify for reimbursement from the government for fuel expenses and other costs.

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