D.O.E. readies audit of power plants and distribution system facilities

by Lenie LecturaOctober 11, 2016

from Business Mirror

The Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting comments from industry stakeholders on a draft circular that requires the conduct of a technical audit for all power generation and distribution system facilities in the country.

The agency deemed it necessary to institutionalize a regular compliance assessment following the frequent yellow- and red-alert incidents between July 25 and August 5 this year.

“The DOE noted the increasing and frequent occurrences of forced and unplanned outages, particularly of large base-load power plants, based on the reports of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, resulting to issuances of yellow- and red-alert notices that may lead to supply shortfall and, possibly, rotating brownouts,” the agency said in its draft circular.

In the proposed circular, the DOE directs the conduct of overall performance audit, or technical audit, for all power generation and distribution facilities.

The circular added that proposed audit would “encroach or step in the authority of the ERC,” but, at the same time, “shall serve as basis for DOE’s future policies instrumental to the attainment of the primary goal of Epira [Electric Power Industry Reform Act] particularly in ensuring the security, reliability and affordability of the supply of electric power.”

The proposed circular shall apply to all generation companies owning and/or operating generation facilities in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, both in the main grid and off-grid areas; and all distribution utilities operating a distribution system in the country.

Their overall performance, including the compliance to laws, permits and licenses issued to them, will be evaluated. Likewise, the audit intends to remove bottlenecks and inefficiencies that cause disruptions in the
power supply. Further, the audit intends to identify effective systems of penalties and incentives to encourage greater efficiencies and improve performance of generation companies and distribution utilities.

To assist in the implementation of the technical audits, the DOE proposed the creation of Task Force Performance Audit on Power Generation Facilities (TFPA-PGF), to be headed by the National Transmission Corp., and the Task Force Performance Audit on Distribution System Facilities (TFPA-DSF), to be headed by the National Electrification Administration.