DOE to publish schedules of plant shutdowns

By Myrna M. Velasco – December 25, 2016, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) is clearing the way into making public the maintenance shutdown of power plants to avoid simultaneous scheduling and deter probable market gouging arising from such events.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the department will be setting that as a policy, and would be firmed up soon through a circular or any similar directive from the department.

Shutdowns of power generating units at the same time proved to be disastrous for the country’s still-tight supply-stricken electricity system, and had resulted in “real nightmares” for consumers not just with ensuing brownouts but with corresponding rate hikes.

In his few months in office, Luzon grid was again strained with rolling power outages so “the bid for publication of power plant shutdowns” had been among the policy questions thrown the energy secretary’s way.

At that time, he was still uncertain of the legal implications. But in the recently concluded Philippine Electricity Summit in Davao, he was already convinced about the advantages of embracing such as a policy.

Other power markets have been making “power plant maintenance schedules” as information of public domain, but in the Philippines, these are being treated as “confidential information” for some time with only the DOE and system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) getting that information.