DOE sets ‘must-dispatch’ rules for intermittent RE tech

by Myrna Velasco, 09 April 2015
from Manila Bulletin

A must-dispatch policy for intermittent renewable energy (RE) technologies has been firmed up by the Department of Energy (DOE) in its recently-issued circular to guide industry players.

Department Circular No. DC 2015-03-001 sets forth that “must dispatch” for RE has to be facilitated in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WSESM)  by qualified and registered  intermittent RE-based plants – whether these are qualified in the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system or not.

The DOE rules cover wind, solar, run-of-river hydro and ocean energy and must be “according to the preference in the dispatch schedule whenever generation is available.”

For relatively stable biomass, the DOE Circular prescribed “priority dispatch for the technology. It means “giving preference to biomass plants under the FIT system,” in accordance with the RE law’s provisions.

The DOE Circular has proffered that “the enjoyment of must-dispatch by intermittent RE-based plants is based on the difficulty to precisely predict the availability of RE resource thereby making the energy-generated variable and irregular and the availability of resource inherently uncontrollable pursuant to Section 20 of the RE Act.”

The Circular, in essence, has laid down that the must-dispatch of the qualified RE facilities must be in keeping with their forecast generation and for the entire electricity system not being compromised.

For the integration of the “must dispatch” and priority dispatch for RE facilities in the governing rules for the electricity sector, the energy department has directed WESM operator Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) to “undertake the necessary amendments in the WESM Rules and pertinent Market Manuals.”

The spot market operator was similarly enjoined to “formulate procedures on the qualification and registration of preferential dispatch generating units in the WESM.”

PEMC was further instructed to “monitor the compliance of intermittent RE generation companies on the submission of projected output for each of its generating units pursuant to the WESM Rules and on the approved forecast accuracy standards consistent with the Philippine Grid Code.”

It has been noted that “the annual compliance of the RE generation companies “facilities on the forecast accuracy standards shall be reported by the PEMC to the PEM Board and the DOE.”

The WESM operator, jointly with system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, must also “implement technical mitigation measures and improvements in the system in order to ensure safety and reliability of electricity transmission.”

The transmission firm has likewise been mandated go determine, through technical and economic analysis, the maximum penetration limit of intermittent RE-based power plants or must-dispatch generating units to the grid.”

It has been qualified though that NGCP will ensure maximum dispatch of the intermittent RE technologies but must be done so in keeping with “the availability of sufficient operating reserves.”

The system operator must likewise “require and witness the conduct of technical tests to ensure generators’ compliance with the performance standards” as prescribed in the Grid Code.

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