SOLUSYON IWAS BROWNOUT? DOE to cap energy contracts to 70%

Basic Energy sells unissued shares to VTE for strategic partnership

The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking to limit the power contracting capacities of power plants to 70 percent as to ensure that there will be an emergency reserve to tap in case of unplanned outages.

“We have to encourage the plants to be well-maintained. And how do we do that? We’re looking at a 70% cap of their contracting with distribution utilities so that they can have more power available for replacement power, for power available for ancillary services and more power available in the spot market,” said Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella told BusinessWorld reporters in a news conference.

He added that the measure aims to fill the unexpected power gap when power plants shut down unexpectedly.

Fuentebella assured that the drafted rules will be released as soon as possible as it is being rushed.

Fuentebella said the proposed measure will cover contracts that are up for renewal. However, he’s not aware of what percentage of capacity has been contracted by power generation plants.

“I would assume everyone is fully contracted,” Raymond R. Roseus, Aboitiz Power Corp. vice-president for industry relations told reporters in the same news report.

“Just like any draft, they come up with a program. They consult, it’s subjected to debate. I cannot comment yet because we haven’t fully seen the draft circular,” he added.

“We always try to look at everything first before we give our formal position,” he said.

On Wednesday, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert after the unplanned outages of some power plants, as well as several de-rated power plants.

The plants affected were: Bacman Energy, Inc.’s unit 1 and GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co’s unit 1, reducing available capacity by 60 MW and 316 MW respectively. Most of the de-rated plants are hydroelectric power facilities.

The operating capacity of the power plants yesterday were totalled to 264 MW.