ERC demands explanation from gencos for unplanned outages

Calaca

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has issued a Notice of Non-Compliance to 17 power generating companies (gencos) to explain their unplanned outages, which breached the maximum allowable unplanned outage days per year.

While the announcement follows the series of Red Alerts in the Luzon Grid earlier this week, the notice covers forced plant shutdowns from January to April.

Among the generators that were offline during the period were the 647-megawatt (MW) Unit 2 of TeaM Energy and San Miguel Corporation’s Sual coal plant in Pangasinan, the 316MW Unit 1 of Aboitiz Power Corporation’s GNPower Mariveles coal plant in Bataan, and the 300MW unit 2 of Semirara Mining and Power Corporation’s (SMPC) Calaca coal plant in Batangas (photo above).

The three plants also contributed to this week’s Red Alert.

GNPower Mariveles Unit 1 bogged down in February, while Sual Unit 2 and Calaca Unit 2 have been out of service since last year. Sual Unit 2 went back online on Tuesday.

The Department of Energy warned of a Yellow Alert back in April following the unplanned outages back then.

“We are strictly monitoring and reviewing the weekly reports being submitted by the Generation Companies in compliance with our directive pertaining to the Reliability Performance Indices and Equivalent Outage Days Per Year of Generating Units. Based on the examination of our technical group, there are gencos that have breached the maximum allowable unplanned outage days as of April 2021”, ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera explained in a statement.

The gencos were directed to submit their explanations within seven days after receiving the notice.

The ERC issued a resolution in November 2020 setting the maximum number of days a plant unit can go on unplanned outages per year.

“The commission promulgated the Rules for the Interim Reliability Performance Indices and Equivalent Outage Days Per Year of Generating Units to set the reliability performance benchmark per technology for all generating units in order to lessen the outages and ensure a reliable power supply and rate.  This will also promote accountability of gencos, the System Operator, and the Transmission Network Provider to achieve greater operations and economic efficiency,” Devanadera added.

 

Photo from SMPC website.

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