Combined 4 options may stop power shortage in Summer 2015 — Petilla

MANILA, Aug. 4 (PNA) — Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla on Monday said the combined four options under Section 71 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) may stop the power shortage in Luzon during the 2015 summertime.

”There are four ways of using Section 71 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA): through energy efficiency (human side management), Interruptible Load Program (ILP), fast-tracking of power projects and rental of power plants,” he said.

Petilla, however, pointed out that the rental of power plant option is running on a deadline for it takes time to deliberate the policies and emergency measures, adding that if the rental approval is not given, the three options are still possible.

”The three options are more generous, a work in progress until February,” he said.

The DOE chief cited the combined capacity from the three solutions may minimize the needed additional capacity of 600 Megawatts (MW) coming from a supposed energy conservation of 50 MW, 200 MW fast-tracked power projects, ILP at 200 MW, or a total added capacity of 450 MW.

But, Petilla said the ILP option still needs permission from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and that the ILP generators may not sell their generated power due to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) price cap.

The ILP power supply comes from generators sets of various businesses from malls to industries, while the energy conservation comes from public advisories requesting citizens to utilize less power.

Another solution being sought was the rescheduling of the Malampaya Power Plant Shutdown by three weeks earlier to mid March and will last until mid April, or right after the low consumption demands of the Holy Week.

Also, Petilla mentioned that on the event the 610 MW Malaya Power Plant comes online in March, the Luzon grid may survive the summer months.

He expressed that a dialogue with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (PIPPA), is set to address the current supply status and problem, so that a power supply commitment may be delivered.

According to Petilla, the current recalculation noted a need of 300 MW reserves, but a target of 600 MW is still being addressed.

The DOE has projected a 9,011 MW energy demand will be needed by Luzon in order to be sustainable, due to the scorching temperatures during summer months.

Meanwhile, the DOE does not foresee a problem in 2016, due to the incoming committed power projects operational during that year. (PNA)