ERC needs stakeholders’ wisdom on MSP issue

by Lenie Lectura, 20 August 2015
from BusinessMirror

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is soliciting comments from industry stakeholders on a draft resolution that seeks to authorize distribution utilities (DUs) to provide meter services to FiT (feed-in-tariff)-Eligible renewable- energy plants.

In a notice issued on Wednesday, the ERC asked all interested parties to submit their comments on or before September 2.

The draft resolution was crafted following a letter from the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) sent to ERC in September last year.

Meralco proposed that it should be considered as the sole provider of metering service for all types of customers in its franchise area, and as such, a certificate of authority (CA) is no longer necessary in order to register with the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) as a wholesale Metering Service Provider (MSP).

The ERC, in a reply to Meralco’s letter, said it will authorize DUs “to act as the MSPs for embedded FiT-Eligible plants located within their respective franchise areas without need of securing a separate CA.

“The draft resolution is meant to make the ERC reply to Meralco a general rule that will apply to all DUs,” Meralco head for Utility Economics Larry Fernandez said in a text message when sought for comment.

The Meralco official further explained that there was an ambiguity before on who should act as MSP for embedded generation companies (gencos). Before, by default, if the embedded gencos will register with WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market), PEMC will refer them to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

“We asked a few months ago to clarify this, to which they replied that the DU will be the default MSP, so PEMC should refer embedded gencos to the concerned DU and not automatically to NGCP,” said Fernandez, who added that the draft resolution “clarifies an ambiguity for PEMC.”

Further in the draft resolution, the ERC said that NGCP shall be the default MSP for areas where the DUs are incapable of putting up the needed metering facilities, subject to express waiver made by the concerned DUs.

In case of any dispute whether the concerned DU is incapable of acting as WMSP, the issue shall be elevated to the ERC by any aggrieved party resolution.