The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) will soon be in charge of off-grid operations in Palawan, Mindoro, Catanduanes, and Marinduque.
Preparatory works are already in place for the development of business plans for these islands. The plans involve the organizational, operational, legal, financial, and regulatory aspects, based on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Philippine Energy Plan 2022-2024 (PEP).
“The launch of the full operations for the Island control centers and the National Control Center for Island SO (system operator) is targeted in August 2022,” the plan stated.
In a DOE Memorandum Circular released in February 2021, the department mandated TransCo to serve as the SO for small grid or off-grid systems with more than one supplier in a bid to improve electric services in off-grid areas.
Though part of the Luzon group, the four islands are not connected to the Luzon Grid, which only covers mainland Luzon. Transmission in Palawan is particularly handled by the National Power Corporation.
In a report by Business Mirror, meanwhile, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) had instructed the electric cooperatives (ECs) covering the four off-grid areas to assure a smooth transition of SO functions to TransCo. NEA oversees the country’s ECs.
TransCo also continuously conducts regular inspections on transmission facilities and projects to ensure that quality, reliable, affordable supply of electricity is secured across the country.
“Sourcing of funds for the feed-in-tariff (FiT) eligible [renewable energy] developers will be continuously pursued including the timely filing of FiT-All application,” part of the PEP read.
TransCo is a government-owned firm created under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) in 2001. It was initially responsible for the operation and management of the country’s transmission system before it was passed on to privately-owned National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in 2009. The state-run company still owns the transmission assets and administers the FiT allowance fund for renewable energy generators.