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November 11, 2014

More firms offer to run own generators in summer of 2015 169 MW freed for other consumers

News Release

 

Office of LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, House Deputy Minority Leader

Room 607 South Wing, House of Representatives, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Tel No. 931-5144

 

November 8, 2014

More firms offer to run own generators in summer of 2015

169 MW freed for other consumers

Seven more large corporations, including broadcasting company GMA Network Inc., have volunteered to self-generate their electricity so that the Luzon power grid’s limited supply in the summer of 2015 may be utilized by other consumers, House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty said over the weekend.

Besides GMA Network, Ty said Century Properties Group Inc., Federal Land Inc., Fort Bonifacio Development Corp., Philam Properties Corp., Posh Properties Development Co., and Trafalgar Plaza Condominium Corp., have all joined the call to run their standby generators in the event that Luzon’s power supply becomes strained.

“These firms are ready to drive their backup generators under the Interruptible Load Program, or ILP,” said Ty, who speaks for the minority bloc in the House energy committee.

“We applaud these entities for going out of their way to shield consumers, by helping to minimize the threat of any potential power shortages in Luzon between February to June next year,” Ty said.

Thus far, Ty said a total of 29 firms have offered to operate their standby generators, if required, instead of obtaining their electricity from the Luzon grid in the summer of 2015, when demand is seen to peak due to extreme heat, while supply becomes fragile owing to reduced water pressure at hydropower facilities.

Should all 29 firms run their own generators, some 169 megawatts (MW) of supply may be freed and available for smaller businesses and homes, according to Ty.

Under the ILP, large consumers of electricity – business concerns with loads of at least one MW each – are encouraged to run their backup generators to help Luzon manage possible power shortages in the summer of 2015.

Due to lack of support from Congress, the Department of Energy has already abandoned its plan to acquire up to P10-billion worth of diesel-fired modular generators to deal with the projected power deficit.

Lawmakers from both sides of the isle had attacked the plan as “vulnerable to corruption.”

Malacañang previously invoked the emergency provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, to allow government to establish the required additional generating capacity under such terms and conditions as Congress may authorize via a joint resolution.

However, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, energy committee chairman, said Congress will now likely just focus on recommending a measure that will enable government to fully harness the reserve supplies of electricity available from the standby generators already held by private firms.

The Philippine Chamber Commerce and Industry estimates that privately owned backup generators can supply up to 2,000 MW of electricity, which is more than adequate to cover any shortfalls next year.

“The ILP has emerged as the preferred coping strategy simply because the reserves are already there, and also because it affords consumers the best protection against the hazard of excessive increases in electricity rates,” Ty said.

Led by Ty, LPG-MA has been batting for stronger government supervision all energy markets to reinforce consumer protection against potential pricing abuses and unfair trade practices.

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