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ERC sets ‘maximum stable load’ as basis for computing installed capacity

erc sets maximum stable load as basis for computing installed capacity - ERC sets ‘maximum stable load’ as basis for computing installed capacity
ERC 022119 - ERC sets ‘maximum stable load’ as basis for computing installed capacity

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it will base its measurement of installed generating capacity on individual plants’ “maximum stable load,” making it the starting point for computing market share limitations as required by law.

Based on the maximum stable load, or the maximum demand in megawatts that a power generating unit can reliably sustain for an indefinite period, the commission estimates the Philippines’ installed generating capacity at 21,803,100 kilowatts (kW), limiting each entity’s installed generating capacity (IGC) to 5,450,775 kW or no more than 25% of the total.

“The same shall remain and shall be strictly enforced and implemented until the next adjustment thereto which may be on or before the 15th day of March of 2020 and every year thereafter and/or as the need arises,” the ERC said in a resolution.

For Luzon, the market share limitation (MSL) was set at 4,605,247 kW or no more than 30% of the main island’s set installed generating capacity as called for under the ERC resolution.

In the Visayas and Mindanao, the market share limit was 909,437 kW and 1,026,245 kW, respectively.

The limits were based on 2019 installed generating capacity set by the ERC, which placed the Luzon total at 15,350,824 kW.

For the Visayas and Mindanao, the installed generation capacity was set at 3,031,458 kW and 3,420,818, respectively.

The ERC is authorized under Sec. 45 (a) of Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) to set the numbers annually to prevent a person, company, related group or independent power producer administrators, singly or in combination, to own, operate, or control more than 30% of the IGC per grid, and 25% of the national grid.

In line with the EPIRA provision, the ERC issued Resolution No. 26, Series of 2005, which set the guidelines for the determination of installed generation capacity for each grid and the national grid, or the high-voltage backbone system of interconnected transmission lines, substations and related facilities.

The IGC is the sum of the maximum capacity of the generation facilities that are connected to the transmission system or distribution system that forms part of a particular grid.

The ERC mandate is to promote free and fair competition in the generation and supply of electricity to achieve greater operational and economic efficiency and to ensure consumer protection and enhance the competitive operation of the markets for generation and supply of power.

The resolution comes as power generation companies revisit their projects in view of the Supreme Court decision requiring all power supply agreements (PSAs) forged after June 30, 2015 to undergo a competitive selection process (CSP) to arrive at the least-cost power for consumers.

On Thursday, consumer advocate Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) called on power generators to bid to ensure adequate power supply and at the least cost to meet growing electricity demand.

In a statement, LKI President Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said it is “imperative that we add to our current power supply situation.”

“Unfortunately, we have had more red and yellow alerts this year than in the past five years. We are already more than three years too late according to our energy timetable. It is important that CSP is undertaken and implemented immediately, and invitations to all bidders begin. The CSP process will ensure that the much needed power supply will be provided at the least cost possible, which will in turn benefit consumers. CSP itself was designed to ensure the best bids and the least cost to the consumers,” he said.

He added that all power suppliers must participate in the selection process.

“CSP allows for the bidding of all power generators. The more power plants, the better … it is not the time to block power generators from bidding. We must encourage all interested parties to participate in CSP and bidding to save our country from a power situation crisis,” he said. — Victor V. Saulon

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