by Lenie Lectura, February 3, 2015
THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has signed up a total of 745.88 megawatts (MW) of interruptible load, and is eyeing a potential of 209.65 MW more to help Luzon plug the needed additional capacity this coming summer season.
As of February 2, Meralco said there are 74 captive Meralco customers from the private sector that will contribute 267.63 MW of power- generating capacity.
The five largest participants are SM Prime Holdings Inc. (57.96 MW), Robinsons Land Corp. (23.15 MW), Waltermart Malls (14.30 MW), Belle Corp. (10 MW) and Rustans Supercenters Inc. (8.66MW).
The House of Representatives is the only captive customer of Meralco from the government sector that has so far signed up in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).
“We now have around 745 MW of interruptible load in the program. Of note is the enrollment of the House of Representatives with 1.7 MW of interruptible load. It is the first government building to join the ILP,” Meralco Head of Utility Economics Larry Fernandez said.
In all, a total of 269.33 MW of interruptible load will come from Meralco’s captive customers.
In addition to this, Meralco’s contestable customers, or those with a monthly average peak demand of at least 1 MW, have signed up a total of 469.05 MW of interruptible load. Of which, 208.69 MW will come from different retail electricity suppliers (RES) and 260.36 MW from MPower, the retail electricity supplier unit of Meralco.
Aside from captive and contestable customers who have signed up for the ILP, Meralco said the Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ) is also joining. CEZ will be contributing 7.5 MW of interruptible load. “Also, the update includes three locators from Philippine Economic Zone Authroity-CEZ with a cumulative additional of 7.5 MW,” Fernandez added.
Thus, overall ILP has reached 745.88 MW to date.
Meralco said it expects a potential of 13.98 MW from private captive customers, 72.27 MW from captive government customers, 1.7 MW from contestable customers and 120 MW from interconnection for a total of 209.65 MW.
Separately, the Department of Energy (DOE) continues to encourage more ILP and the adoption of energy-efficient practices.
Highlighting the role in being part of the solution to the power challenges, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said on Tuesday that he attended the ILP signing ceremony of the 1.7 MW worth of participation of the House of Representatives on January 27 and the ceremonial signing of ILP agreements between MPower and its 92 contestable customers on January 30.
With the ongoing progress of the ILP, the DOE is set to ramp up the importance of energy efficiency and conservation to address the short- and long-term power requirements of the country.
With the ILP, power supply from the grid that will not be consumed by participating customers will be available for use by other customers within the franchise area. Through this, the aggregate demand for power from the system will be reduced to a more manageable level, helping ensure the availability of supply during the anticipated power crisis next year.
The program will only be part of the answer to the looming power shortages next summer. The ILP, likewise, does not guarantee zero brownouts, as it will only be implemented during the red alert level of the power supply.
A red alert means there is a supply deficiency.