EDC gets ERC nod for M3 plant connection to Mindanao Grid

EDC Mindanao Bonary

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved Lopez-led Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) application to establish a point-to-point transmission line to connect the 3.6-megawatt (MW) Mindanao 3 (M3) binary geothermal power plant to the Mindanao grid. 

However, operation and maintenance rights of the transmission line will be given to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), “subject to applicable charges to EDC.” 

“In case the subject assets were to be required for competitive purposes, the ownership of the same shall be transferred to TRANSCO or NGCP at a fair market price, subject to optimization,” the ERC said in its decision. 

The commission cited its general rule that the NGCP has the responsibility to provide grid connection to power facilities under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). However, Section 9 of the law states the following provision: 

“A generation company may develop, and own or operate dedicated point-to-point limited transmission facilities that are consistent with the Transmission Development Plan. Provided, that such facilities are required only for the purpose of connecting to the transmission system, and are used solely by the generating facility, subject to the prior authorization by the ERC.” 

M3 is an expansion project of the existing Mt. Apo geothermal facility which EDC said would augment the power requirements in the Mindanao Grid. 

“Thus, the development of the subject facilities is necessary for the said connection,” the ERC said. 

EDC said that the transmission line would cost around Php244.69 million, with a one-kilometer 69-kilovolt transmission line connecting the M3 plant to the grid. 

First Gen Corporation, which owns EDC, has allotted the unit $266 million in capital expenditures for its growth initiatives, drilling programs, and upgrades”