By Myrna M. Velasco
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Department of Energy (DOE) jointly moved in sorting out certification requirements on the filing of applications for power supply agreements (PSAs) that were concluded by the distribution utilities (DUs) through competitive selection processes (CSPs) or bidding on their capacity needs.
The ERC in particular eased up the “certification requirement” that it has been requesting the energy department to provide – primarily in the underwritten PSAs of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) that are now ready for joint filing along with its counter-party generation companies.
ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera noted that the “certification” could be done several ways – including prospective attachment of the CSP proceedings when the third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) had carried out the auction activities.
“We have written the DOE – it’s a new letter, because there are many ways for DOE doing certifications or communicating or making comment on the way the CSP was conducted in as much as DOE has always been present in the many phases of it,” the ERC chair said.
For its part, the DOE indicated that it responded to the DOE letter – detailing out the observation it had in the CSP processes of Meralco, although it emphasized that directive on the submission of the TPBAC bid process documents may already be done directly by the ERC – instead of asking the DOE to do it.
Devanadera previously indicated that on the provision of certification by the energy department, “nothing has been closed, because there are many ways to do it – it maybe called certification, it may be set that these are the processes like for the TPBAC, so it depends on how they would want it done.”
She said the Commission will have to wait for the DOE’s letter-reply, and it may require Meralco on document-submissions prior to the filing of the PSA petitions.
Devanadera assured there will be no delays in the approval of the Meralco PSAs since the delivery of the contracted capacities are already expected by December 26 this year.
Even before the resolution of the “certification concern” of the two agencies, the ERC chief emphasized that the regulatory body had already set timeframes, systems as well as personnel assigned to evaluate and review the applications, so approvals can be fast-tracked.
Devanadera noted that since PSAs have impact on the country’s power supply, these are clearly in the “priority lane” of actions to be taken by the Commission.
The ERC chief similarly explained that they are not sending “observers’ in the CSPs being undertaken by the distribution utilities because they are avoiding incurring biases since these PSA applications will eventually be lodged to the Commission for its evaluation and approval.