MERALCO prepared for dry season surge

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Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) reaffirmed its preparedness to manage the heightened electricity demand brought on by the onset of the dry season or summer.

The distribution company also urged increased involvement in the government’s Interruptible Load Program (ILP), stressing the significance of unified efforts.

“We are in constant coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE) in working to ensure the delivery of stable, reliable, and continuous electricity service to customers during the summer months,” said MERALCO Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga.

He added, “MERALCO also proactively obtained additional power supply via a series of competitive selection processes (CSPs) to meet the growing electricity demand of its customers.” Zaldarriaga disclosed the acquisition of an extra 400-megawatt (MW) interim power supply via a recent CSP, pending Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approval.

During the bidding process, Limay Power Inc. emerged with the lowest offer at Php 6.2708 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for a 400-MW baseload power supply until February 2025. MERALCO assured that this additional interim supply would offer the most cost-effective option for its customers upon ERC’s endorsement.

Furthermore, this supplementary supply aims to bolster MERALCO’s capacity during the critical dry months, reducing its reliance on the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) amidst price volatility due to high demand and limited supply.

In anticipation of heightened demand during the dry season, MERALCO also said that it is actively scouting potential suppliers for an additional 260 MW interim power supply to cater to its peaking requirements.

The power-distribution giant reiterated its advocacy for expanded participation in the ILP, urging businesses and industrial establishments to help ease grid strain by joining the program.

The ILP, a demand-side management initiative, entails large-load customers using their generators or reducing operations to relieve pressure on the grid during Red Alert instances or insufficient supply periods.

Presently, 105 companies within MERALCO’s franchise are enrolled in the ILP, offering a total de-loading capacity of 530 MW. MERALCO aims to increase participation through various engagement efforts.