by Myrna Velasco, February 3, 2015
from Manila Bulletin
A ‘test run’ will be undertaken for the participants of the interruptible load program (ILP) – it being a core solution to the country’s anticipated power supply problems during the summer months.
The mandate was from the Department of Energy (DOE), as anchored on its correspondence to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the main power utility involved in cornering the ILP participants to augment Luzon grid’s power supply.
“As an integral part of the measures, we are directing Meralco to conduct the testing of the ILP protocols with the additional participants from the RES (retail electricity suppliers),” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla has stated in his letter to Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes.
The energy chief further averred “prudence dictates that tests must be conducted in order to determine the operational and technical impact of the ILP expanded load.”
Petilla has emphasized that “with prior testing, we are assured that the protocols in place are adept to possible contingencies.”
The test run, according to Petilla, “is imperative” primarily in ensuring “the smooth implementation of the ILP with less than a month to the forecasted critical period beginning in March 2015.”
Based on the updated figures released by the energy department, the volume that can be de-loaded by ILP participants already account for 688 megawatts – combined as to the commitments cornered by Meralco and the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association.
Meralco has listed 56 participants for equivalent total capacity of 227.82MW; while RESA has 173 participants for capacity de-loading of 460.85MW.
Petilla has been noting progress in the ILP commitments, while indicating on the side that “the DOE is set to ramp up the importance of energy efficiency and conservation to address the short- and long-term power requirements of the country.”
The forecasted tightness in supply kicking off by mid-March will be triggered primarily by the scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas production facility. An added major work will also be undertaken at the facility on the tie-in of its new platform.
When the gas facility is on shutdown, some of the plants running on natural gas may have capacity constraints on their electricity generation – and that is essentially applicable to the 1,200 megawatt Ilijan power plant.