By Myrna M. Velasco
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has prescribed adjusted limits of power capacity that generation companies (GenCos) can own or have control on the dispatch or market share on power facilities.
It could be culled that capacity limits had gone up for Luzon grid; but it had been remarkably lower in Visayas and Mindanao; and even for the nationwide installed capacity dimension.
For Luzon, the new capacity limit enforced on GenCos had been at 4,605.247 megawatts versus last year’s 4,552.790MW; Visayas at 909.437MW as against 958.466MW in 2018; and then for Mindanao grid, it had been set at 1,026.245MW compared to 1,048.878MW a year ago.
On a nationwide scale, the maximum capacity that a power company can have ownership or control of shall be at 5,640.775MW vis-à-vis 5,466.779MW in 2018, according to the industry regulator. It has to be noted that there had been a slight decline in the GenCo capacity limits set forth for 2019.
The basis of the installed capacity used as reference by the ERC had been at 21,803.100MW on a nationwide basis, which is lower than last year’s 21,867.117MW. For Luzon, the capacity installation reference point had been at 15,350.824MW as against 15,175.967MW in 2018; then 3,031.458MW for Visayas from 3,194.888MW previously; and 3,420.818MW for Mindanao from 3,496.261MW in 2018.
It is worth noting though that the installed capacity numbers applied by the ERC in its calculation of GenCo market share limits differed from the Department of Energy (DOE) figures which had already adjusted installed capacity of power facilities in the country to 23,815MW as of end-2018; with Luzon having installed capacity of 16,549MW; Visayas with 3,450MW; and Mindanao has 3,815MW.
As decreed under Section 45 (a) of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act and from the prescription of its implementing rules and regulations, GenCos cannot own or have control of more than 30-percent of installed power capacity in a grid; or 25-percent of installed capacity on a national scale.
In delineating this year’s power capacity limits though, the ERC specified that it employed the maximum stable loads (or Pmax) of power facilities as these are the registered maximum capacity in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and had also been supported by demonstration and capability tests.
The regulatory body stipulated that it resolved to set the 2019 installed generating capacity per grid and national grid as well as the market share limitations (MSL) “using Pmax as the maximum capacity adopted for the generation facilities.”
It specified that such “shall remain and shall be strictly enforced and implemented until the next adjustment,” which shall be by March 15, 2020.
The ERC argued that “after thorough evaluation of the submitted maximum capacities of the generation companies vis-à-vis the technical description of the generation facilities in the issued certificates of compliance, it was observed that the maximum capacities were either based on nameplate rating, maximum stable load (Pmax) and some other considerations.”