DOE orders power generators to submit plant outages sched

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Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi has signed a department circular ordering power generation companies to provide their scheduled plant outage for three years, after Luzon grid experienced brownouts last year due to shortage in power reserves.

“All generating companies shall submit three-year planned outage schedules for their power plants to the NGCP [National Grid Corp. of the Philippines] in accordance with the PGC [Philippine Grid Code],” stated DOE Circular 2020-02-0004.

Under the circular, guidelines are outlined for the outage schedules of power plants and transmission facilities, and the publication of the Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP).

Before the implementation of the circular, generation companies submitted their planned maintenance schedule every year to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The NGCP and Market Operator (MO) will craft a system to come up with an optimal generation and transmission planned outage schedule, which will be the basis of the GOMP.

No power plant facility should undergo maintenance activities during summer months, when demand for electricity is high. However, the newly issued circular states that hydroelectric plants are allowed to do maintenance during the peak quarter.

NGCP will then submit the GOMP to the DOE for evaluation and approval on the last day of October every year.

The grid corporation is mandated to post on its website the approved annual GOMP after securing DOE’s approval.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is directed to issue relevant rules and regulations needed to implement the new policy within 60 days upon implementation, under the circular.