NGCP collaborates with DOE, stakeholders on solving ‘power system issues’

Published August 5, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

System operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) sought collaboration with the industry stakeholders, primarily with the Department of Energy (DOE), on its bid to finally resolve issues hounding the country’s power system – including those on reserves, transmission facility investments and scheduling of power facilities’ preventive maintenance shutdowns.

The company said a meeting between them as well as with DOE, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) and other agencies happened on August 4 (Wednesday) to sort out pressing matters on the provision of electricity service to consumers.

On concerns relating to ancillary services procurements or power reserves contracting, NGCP noted that this is being addressed and it has already sounded off adherence to planned conversion of its non-firm contracts into firm AS contracts.

Nevertheless, it emphasized that the company is still “awaiting clarification on some matters regarding DOE guidelines, which were all expressed in the letter submitted to the department last July 15.”

NGCP opined the policy clarifications from DOE would be “crucial to effectively and efficiently comply with the directive to convert from non-firm to firm contracts.”

Relative to the reported delays on NGCP’s submission of the Grid Operations and Maintenance Program (GOMP) as well as the Transmission Development Plan (TDP), the firm stated that “current delays experienced on the GOMP were borne out of clarifications sought from DOE as regards the company’s 2020 submission.”

Further, NGCP noted that it has complied with the submission of the 2021-2023 GOMP, and that had been slated for approval June this year. Subsequently, that shall be endorsed to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, for its concurrence.

The GOMP outlines the plan and scheduling of power plant maintenance activities – and that is targeted to ensure that the plant owners and operators will not be doing it simultaneously; and in the process, the shutdowns will not unduly strain supply in the grid.

“NGCP assures that for its future submissions, all maintenance plans which fall within the peak period, will be rejected to prevent any issues on unscheduled power interruptions,” the transmission firm stressed.

On its responsibility to draw up the TDP so investments in transmission facilities can be prudently guided, NGCP indicated its technical group “continues to work on its annual submission to DOE.”

NGCP added it has been conducting consultations with all relevant stakeholders since it took over the operation and management of the country’s power transmission network in 2009.

When it comes to the audit requirement on NGCP’s operations, the transmission firm conveyed this is already ongoing; and it has been cooperating with the ERC on this mandate.

The company similarly specified that the delays on its transmission line projects, permitting concerns are being sorted with relevant local government units (LGUs) and other agencies; and it is also seeking DOE’s assistance on other permitting concerns as well as right-of-way (ROW) constraints to project implementations.