Mindanao power supply tightness to persist until May

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2014 02:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2014 10:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang says the tightness in power supply in Mindanao will persist until May this year.

Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma says this is why President Aquino ordered Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to continue efforts to address the tight power situation in Mindanao.

“In a meeting last Monday, the President directed Secretary Jericho Petilla of the Department of Energy to pursue continuing efforts to address the tight power supply situation that was highlighted by the Mindanao-wide power outage that occurred last February 27. According to the DOE, the tightness in the Mindanao power supply situation is expected to persist through the months of March, April, and May," he said.

In addition, Aquino directed the DOE and DOST to monitor the inquiry into the causes of unexpected power plant breakdowns.

Aquino met with Petilla last Monday to discuss the power situation.

Petilla enumerated 3 measures during the meeting, the interruptible load program, interim Mindanao electricity market and Mindanao modular generator set program.

“First is the interruptible load program that is expected to generate around 93.71 megawatts. This is the program by which distribution utilities may tap into their generator sets, instead of availing themselves of the system power supply, and they will be compensated for the cost differential through a formula already determined by the ERC. You will notice there that the ERC approved the petition of Davao Light for rules change on cost recovery, and that is why there is a significant gain in capacity," he said.

"The second is the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM), which is similar to the WESM (Wholesale Electricty Spot Market), and it is a transparency device by which the available supply in a particular grid is made open and public, so that those that would need additional supply may buy directly from offerors of power in that market, and this is expected to generate 124 megawatts."

Third is the Mindanao modular generator set program, which is expected to generate 48 megawatts

"Through the additional capacity of 265 megawatts that will be generated from these three measures, the DOE hopes to be able to bridge the gap between demand and supply, and thus, lessen the frequency and duration of the rotating brownouts," he said.