DOE looking to penalize gencos for power outages

DOE looking to penalize gencos for power outages

The Department of Energy (DOE) has asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the possible sanctions that can be imposed on generation companies after several instances where red and yellow alerts were raised in the Luzon grid.

“This was the directive the energy secretary to investigate the reason behind the shutdown of power plants that were not under periodic maintenance… The DOE has also asked the Energy Regulatory Commission what penalties could be imposed on the power generation companies because the blackouts could have a significant dent on our economy,” DOE spokesperson Pete Ilagan said in a radio interview at dzBB on Saturday.

Secretary Alfonso Cusi has directed agencies within the energy sector to look into the outages of the largest facilities in the region, which depleted the supply by as much 3, 000 megawatts (MW).

The Philippine Statistics Office reported that the country’s economy could lose up to P3.3 billion for every hour during power outages.

“We’re looking at possible violations of the gencos based on the Electric Power Industry and Reform Act,” Ilagan said.

The DOE tasked the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineering and an association of mechanical engineers to conduct a technical of existing energy facilities. This will also cover power plants based in Visayas and Mindanao.

Generation companies have been told to submit reports on the forced outages on Friday, and were given 24 hours to submit them.

“The ERC has been closely monitoring the situation and the market results as we complete data from the gencos. We have noted the price surges during the past few days and have also identified the plants that have gone on unscheduled outages,” ERC chair and chief executive officer Jose Vicente B. Salazar said in a statement.

“If this condition persists for some time, we will look into the bidding patterns of these power plants. Sanctions will also be imposed in case of the gencos’ non-compliance with our directive,” Salazar said.