NGCP ‘in discussions’ with DoE to ensure adequate power supply


THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said it is in talks with the Department of Energy (DoE) to ensure sufficient power, after it declared red and yellow alerts on the Luzon grid on Monday.

“The NGCP is in discussion with DoE to work together to assure that we have enough supply of energy,” NGCP President Anthony L. Almeda said during a Senate energy committee hearing.

Mr. Almeda gave no details. The NGCP is required to have access to a certain level of contracted power reserves should its baseload providers fail to supply adequate electricity. These reserves are known as ancillary services (AS).

AS contracts are entered into on a firm or non-firm basis. Firm contracts command a premium because they are considered more certain to deliver should the need arise, but the NGCP incurs costs to enter into both types of contracts.

The company has found itself in disputes with regulators over what level of reserves will ensure sufficient power in case major generating facilities come offline unexpectedly. 

On Monday, the NGCP placed the Luzon grid under red and yellow alerts following forced outages at seven power plants, while three power plants were operating at diminished capacity.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said in a separate advisory that it will investigate the NGCP’s actions in the wake of the loss of the power plants’ output.

“The ERC will look into the cause of the tripping and the actions taken by the NGCP… including the reasons why the generating units were not able to get back online with the restoration of the transmission line,” the ERC said in an advisory posted on Facebook.

Senator Rafael T. Tulfo, chairman of the Senate energy committee, said the DoE needs to streamline the permit process for energy projects by making more use of the energy virtual one-stop shop (EVOSS).

“To facilitate the urgency of the processes there is a need to create an inter-agency council, to coordinate and monitor each agency’s task,” Mr. Tulfo said.

Mr. Tulfo said that EVOSS, as a coordinating entity, should help resolve any bottlenecks in augmenting supply. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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