The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday assured sufficient power supply and the prevention of price shocks during the Malampaya maintenance activity from January 28 to February 16.
“I have directed [Undersecretary] Fuentebella to closely coordinate and spearhead the power sector’s activities in light of the Malampaya shutdown. We’ve already conducted a series of coordination meetings, simulations and exhausting all possible measures that we can implement to ensure supply and avoid price shocks,” DOE chief Alfonso G. Cusi said.
The DOE is also ensuring the availability of fuel requirements for the affected natural gas power plants (NGPPs): the 97-megawatt Avion NGPP, the 500-MW San Lorenzo NGPP and the 1, 000-MW Sta. Rita NGPP.
The 470-MW Malaya Thermal Power Plant in Pililia, Rizal will also run during the maintenance period. The DOE has also tapped into the participants of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) with a total of 900 MW in power capacity.
It is also monitoring and securing the generation capabilities of renewable energy facilities, particularly geothermal, hydropower and biomass plants.
Power rates are expected to increase by P1.20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during the maintenance.
Based on projections, highest demand is projected to reach 8, 610 MW on February 9. The lowest reserve level is projected at 706 MW on February 16, a possible Yellow Alert.
“The DOE assures the public that it will exhaust all possible legal options and measures to ensure supply and protect consumers from price shocks, but we cannot do it alone. That’s why we are also asking the public to remain vigilant and cooperative in managing their consumption,” Cusi said.
The agency is also looking at “staggering payment of additional generation cost from having to use more expensive fuel (diesel and condensate),” with natural gas fuel only costing P4 per kWh, and replacement fuel like diesel around P6 to P8 per kWh.
They are also reviewing how to lower the secondary price cap in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as it encourages the public to conserve energy.
Reducing time spent watching TV from 10 hours to nine will allow consumers to save P19.80 per month; putting electric fan settings from high to low will save P52.80 per month; and reducing one hour spent in ironing clothes will save P44 per month.