Cusi to ERC: Probe power generators’ complicity to anticompetitive behavior

by Lenie LecturaAugust 1, 2016

from Business Mirror

Luzon grid was again placed on yellow alert on Monday from 10:01 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the alert was issued “due to lower-level operating reserves brought about by insufficient power supply from generating plants.”

A yellow alert means thin power reserves. It is issued when contingency reserve is less than the capacity of the largest synchronized unit of the grid. In Luzon this is equivalent to 647 megawatts (MW), or equivalent to one unit of the Sual power plant.

The net reserves at 2 p.m. on Monday was expected to be at 306 MW.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power- distribution firm, has advised participants of its Interruptible Load Program  to “be ready to deload, in case they need to be activated,” Meralco utility economics head Lawrence Fernandez said.

“As of 9:30 a.m., we had commitments from 181 participants, equivalent to a deloading capacity of 372.33 MW,” Fernandez added.

It has been days since Luzon was placed on yellow alert. At one point, Luzon was even placed on red alert.

Last Saturday the Department of Energy (DOE) said the huge loss of power supply, totaling to 2,946 MW, was brought about by the outage of the 647-MW Sual plant unit 2,300- MW Calaca coal-fired power plant unit; 2,280-MW Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTPP) unit; 2,302-MW GN coal-fired power plant unit; 1,382-MW Pagbilao coal-fired power plant unit; and 2,360-MW Kalayaan units 3 and 4 due to low water elevation; and the maintenance of the 245-MW South Luzon Therma Energy Corp. units 1 and 2; while the 180-MW Kalayaan unit 2 and the 250-MW Santa Rita natural-gas power plant unit 2 are on planned maintenance shutdown.

Meanwhile, the MTPP unit 1 is running on a limited capacity at 135 MW.

Team Energy said on Monday Sual unit 2 was synchronized to the grid on July 31. Both units 1 and 2 are fully available as of now. Pagbilao, which was on maintenance shutdown, was supposed to operate again on July 31. However, maintenance work was extended to August 2 due to condenser tube leak.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, through a letter dated July 29, asked the Energy Regulatory Commission to determine whether these power firms are engaged in anticompetitive behavior.

The DOE is creating technical audit teams to validate the figures submitted by the generating companies and the distribution utilities. The technical audit teams aim to contribute in acquiring accurate data for the delivery of quality, reliable, secure and affordable supply of energy.