ERC prescribes new capacity limits for power generation companies

by Myrna Velasco, 18 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin

Generation companies (GenCos) aiming for highly aggressive power plant developments may not pass the prescribed capacity limit set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) which has been updated to 3,917.327 megawatts for Luzon grid from the year-ago level of 3,612.425MW.

On a nationwide basis, the capacity limit which sets the cap on market share of each player had been pegged at 4,396.291MW from 3,958.087MW last year.

For Visayas and Mindanao grids, the capacity ceiling that each Genco could own or develop had been placed at 709.107MW and 649.115MW, respectively.

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) expressly prescribed that each player’s market share per grid shall be capped at 30 percent of installed generating capacity; and on a national capacity sphere, the limit is 25 percent of installed capacity.

For Luzon, that grid limit has gone up by roughly 300MW from the last year’s level of 3,612.425MW. For Visayas and Mindanao, the market share limitations that players must adhere to were also lower last year at 548.187MW and 589.091MW, respectively.

To date, the ERC has stressed that so far “no GenCo has violated any of the limits provided by law.”

The estimated installed generating capacities of power plants are as follows: 13,057.758MW from 12,041.417MW for Luzon grid; 2,363.690MW from 1,827.292MW for Visayas; and 2,163.718MW from 1,963.639MW for Mindanao grid.

Total installed generating capacity hovered at 17,585.166MW from the previous year’s 15,832.348MW – as reckoned on nationwide calculation.

ERC Chairperson Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut has noted that the Commission “determines and adjusts the installed generating capacity and the market share limitation yearly to ensure a competitive sector in the electric power industry that promotes and protects consumer interests.”

The regulatory body has emphasized that the   state-run National Power Corporation and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) are not covered by the mandated market share limitations.

The ERC has affirmed that there had been “slight increase in both the IGC (installed generating capacity) and its limit by 11-percent when compared with the previous year’s capacities and limits.

Such had been traced to either increase or decrease in the capacities of certain plants – given their uprating, re-commissioning or expansion ventures.

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