Gov’t representation expanded in power grid rule-making body

by Myrna Velasco, January 12, 2015
from Manila Bulletin

The representation of government has been expanded to five memberships, from just three originally, in the body that has been aiding in the crafting of rules and standards for the efficient and reliable operation of the country’s power transmission system.

That was contained in a resolution recently issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) — which included in the roll also the membership of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) in the Grid Management Committee or GMC.

The GMC helps lay down policy guidance for the Philippine Grid Code (PGC) and evaluates and makes “appropriate recommendations to the ERC, which shall then render the final decision on any matter pertaining to Grid Code revision.”

Fundamentally, the PGC sets “the rules, requirements, procedures and standards that will ensure the safe, reliable, secured and efficient operation, maintenance and development of the high voltage backbone transmission system in the country.”

In the crafting of rules or on proposed revisions, it was propounded that “the cooperation of all industry participants”, must be required, and such must include TransCo being the owner of the country’s transmission system.

In the expanded membership of government, it was prescribed in the ERC resolution that in addition to the regular members, “there shall be five representatives – one each from the Department of Energy, National Electrification Administration (NEA) and TransCo and two from the ERC.”

The government contingent shall “provide guidance on government policies and regulatory frameworks and directions,” the ERC resolution has stipulated.

It was emphasized though that “the government representatives shall not participate in any GMC decision-making and in the formulation of recommendations to the ERC.”

Prior to the expanded membership, there have only been three representations from the government – mainly from the DOE, NEA and ERC.

TransCo formally batted for its inclusion in the GMC, citing the critical function it still exercises being the owner of the country’s transmission network which is presently under a 25-year concession arrangement with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

“Recognizing TransCo as one of the most important pillars of the Philippine power industry, equally indispensable as the other stakeholders who are given the privilege to have a representation to the GMC, the Committee proposed…to include TransCo as one of the government representatives,” the regulatory body has averred.

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