PCCI’s help sought on businesses’ participation in ILP when power supply is tight

Published July 5, 2021, 5:00 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The participation of businesses or companies with self-generating assets is being sought, so they can switch on their own facilities when electricity supply in the grid would run tight in the coming weeks.

This particular plea was put forward by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC); and to strengthen the collaboration, the industry regulator primarily sought the help of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) so their member-companies will take part in the government-designed interruptible load program (ILP) in cases of power supply snags.

“We seek the assistance and support of the PCCI to encourage its members – especially the commercial and industrial customers, to participate in the ILP to augment the limited power supply considering the possible power interruptions in the coming months,” ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera stated.

ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera (Photo from ERC Facebook page)

Under the ILP, those firms with self-generating facilities will have to utilize their own gensets if grid supply is strained, and they shall be compensated for that as reckoned on the rules prescribed by the ERC.

By enlisting the participation of more establishments in the ILP, it was noted that rotating blackouts can be prevented when there is supply deficiency in the grid.

As explained by Devanadera, “the ILP allows customers to operate their generating sets and collectively reduce electricity drawn from the grid when power interruptions are imminent.”

She added that the ILP “is a scheme adopted by the Commission wherein customers may enter into an agreement with their distribution utility (DU) to voluntarily disconnect from the power grid for a limited period whenever the power supply is constricted.”

As stipulated in the rules laid down by the ERC, the companies that are willing to participate “will be requested to reduce their demand for particular hours in a day when power supply in the system is not enough.”

It was emphasized that the ILP participants are often called upon as part of the remedial measures to ease grid supply during the peak demand months of summer – or when supply is extremely tight either due to factors, like the simultaneous outages of power plants; or if there are unprecedented technical glitches in the system that could affect the supply chain.

The ERC is highlighting the power outlook presented by the Department of Energy (DOE) on “the possibility of tight supply conditions resulting in yellow and red alerts in the coming weeks of 2021.”

A state of ‘yellow’ and ‘red alert’ conditions in the power grid would entail deficiency of reserves needed in a power system – with ‘red alert’ seen as a more serious condition, because that could descend into unwanted rotational blackouts.

As the regulatory body has expounded, once the system edges into ‘red alert’ situation, the activation of the ILP participants would be one of the most tangible ‘mitigating fix’ to plug supply shortfall in the system.