ERC resumes duties, approves new plants

By Alena Mae S. Flores – February 21, 2018 at 07:33 pm

The Energy Regulatory Commission resumed its work, issuing certificates of compliance and provisional authorities to power generation companies to help ensure adequate supply during the dry months.

“It is imperative for a generation company to secure a COC or a PAO from the ERC prior to its commercial operation. The ERC recognizes the need for the immediate issuance of the COCs and PAOs to GenCos [geration companies] in order to ensure a reliable and sustainable power supply especially that there is an upsurge in power demand during the summer months,” ERC Chairperson Agnes  Devanadera said.

Energy Undersecretary Redentor Delola said earlier there were concerns that the power plants would not be available to sell to the grid in the absence of COCs from the ERC following the suspension of its four commissioners in December. Delola said this would now be addressed with the grant of the 60-day temporary restraining order against the suspension of the four commissioners.

“It’s a blessing that the four commissioners are still there, at least for the next 60 days, so they can resolve pending cases,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, head of the Senate committee on energy, said.

The Office of the Ombudsman served a one-year suspension on four commissioners of ERC in  December .

The TRO provided a 60-day reprieve to the ERC to fully function as a collegial body to approve new requests and renewals of COCs.

The ERC said it issued COCs  to the third unit of the circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant of Panay Energy Development Corp.  with 150-MW capacity located in Barangay Ingore, La Paz, Iloilo City and Silay Power Plant of Silay Solar Power Inc. with 25-MW capacity in Barangay Rizal, Silay City, Negros Occidental.

The regulator also issued provisional authorities to operate to Palm Concepcion Power Corp.’s coal-fired power plant (Unit 1) with 135 MW capacity at Sitio Puntales, Barangay Nipa, Concepcion, Iloilo; 2Nickel Asia Corp.’s Surigao diesel power plant with 10.944 MW capacity in Quezon, Surigao City.

It also issued provisional authorities to EDC Siklab Power Corp.’s Gaisano Balasan Solar Rooftop Project with 0.6144 MW in Balasan, Iloilo and Gaisano Oton Solar Rooftop Project with 0.6144 MW in Oton, Iloilo; EDC Bago Power Corp.’s Bago Solar Rooftop Project with 1.0304 MW at Gaisano Mall, Luna St., Barangay Luna La Paz, Iloilo City; and SMC Consolidated Power Corp.’s Limay Power Plant (Unit 2) with 150 MW capacity in Barangay Lanao, Limay, Bataan.

COCs are issued by the ERC in favor of a person or entity to operate a power plant or other facilities used in generation of electricity pursuant to Section 6 of Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 and Section 4 of the implementing rules and regulations of the Epira law.

The ERC said pending the issuance of the COC, the PAO could be issued by the ERC to enable a generation company to operate its generation facility.

The PAO is issued in the form of a notification to the generation company and is valid for a period of six  months from issuance. The six-month validity period will be included in the five year-term of the COC.

The Energy Department earlier assured there would be no outage during the dry months with the entry of nearly 600 megawatts of capacity in the Luzon grid.

Energy Undersecretary Redentor Delola said the 420-megawatt Pagbilao 3 in Quezon and the second unit (150 MW) of the Limay power plant in Bataan were expected to start delivering power in time for the dry season.

“There are new plants coming in, Limay and Pagbilao…Summer demand peak projection is 10,500 MW for Luzon. That is around the second and third week of May but there is enough reserves at that time, around 1,500 MW reserves,” Delola said.