Saturday, June 30, 2012

Govt shuns solar

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores | Posted on June 30, 2012 | 11:05pm

Sunlight, probably the most natural and readily available form of energy, can easily cover the rising electricity demand in the Philippines and energize the homes of around four million Filipinos in remote areas who still spend the night in the dark.
The Energy Department, however, is not ready to endorse full development of solar energy projects just yet, claiming solar technology remained expensive and would only drive prices of electricity higher.
Solar energy developers disputed this, saying the cost of solar energy projects was rapidly going down. In fact, solar projects mounted on rooftops, which harness energy from the sun and convert it to electricity, are already providing electricity to several far-flung communities outside the power grid at a cost of as low as P15,000 per installation. Solar homes systems are guaranteed to last up to 25 years.
The power grid refers to the main power transmission network that conveys electricity from power plants to homes and establishments. Families in remote areas outside the grid can now enjoy the benefits of two light bulbs, a mobile phone charger and a radio, thanks to solar rooftop systems.
Solar rooftop projects have long been implemented in the country but it was only recently applied on a large scale such as the one installed by a multilateral bank.
The Asian Development Bank inaugurated its own solar rooftop project at its headquarters in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City on June 5. The 2,040-photovoltaic panels occupying 6,640 square meters on the roof of ADB’s main building is the biggest solar mounted rooftop to date.
Largest solar project
Once completed, the ADB rooftop project will generate 613-megawatt hours of electricity per year to run a portion of the bank’s air conditioning, lighting, and computer systems, in effect reducing the bank’s carbon footprint.
“Using rooftops and other open spaces is an efficient way for businesses and homes to capture and use the energy of the sun,” said S. Chander, director-general of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department.
“We hope other companies will follow ADB’s example,” Chander said. “I expect that once prices go down, and the manufacturers are able to offer lower prices, people should want to buy that.”
He said ADB was endorsing solar rooftop projects instead of ground-mounted solar projects because land should be utilized for agriculture.
Propmech Corp., the winning bidder of the ADB solar rooftop project, has installed several solar rooftop projects in coordination with the Energy Department under the Rural Electrification Program of the government, supported by international aid agencies such as the World Bank, the United Nations and the United States Agency for International Development.
500 villages
The company won contracts to provide sustainable electricity in remote areas and had installed solar photovoltaic systems in over 500 barangays that previously had no access to electricity. Propmech expects to complete more than 10,000 solar installations by the end of the year.
Propmech director Glenn Tong said the most spartan rural solar home system costs only about P15,000 to P20,000, although urban roof installations are on a different scale.
Tong said solar home systems are customizable and can be installed very fast. “If the materials are available, [installation will be] very fast. It would be a few days for most residential. However, what takes longer usually is the pre-installation part, particularly on explaining with the customer how solar works and what can and can’t be done,” he said.
Tong said Spartan solar home and communal systems are the right technology for remote areas off the power grid, although there are various challenges along the way.
“Solar rooftop systems make the most sense for these areas, but logistics can be difficult since infrastructure of these areas—light, power, water, roads—are not available. Peace and order is a challenge as well,” he said.
“However, solar power makes sense for rural because it is affordable compared to laying out kilometers of high-grade copper cable to sparsely populated areas. Also solar has no moving parts and are warranted for up to 25 years,” Tong said.
A bill proposed by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro CasiƱo in fact seeks to install one million solar rooftop projects in 10 years. The move, if approved, will make the Philippines a global leader in solar energy development.
Aside from small solar rooftop projects, the Energy Department had approved 17 solar power projects with combined power generation capacity of 271.22 MW that were supposed to be connected to the grid. Another 24 projects with combined capacity of 117.83 MW seek approval from the department.
Among the biggest projects are the proposed 50-MW Pasuquin-Burgos solar power project in Ilocos Norte of Energy Logics Philippines and the 50-MW Clark Freeport solar project in Mabalacat, Pampanga of Belgian firm Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources Inc. Enfinity also proposed to build a 30-MW solar project in Cavite.
Govt restriction
Development of these projects, however, threatened the Energy Department’s decision to put a 50-MW cap on solar energy generation for three years, which was 50 percent lower than the 100 MW recommended by National Renewable Energy Board.
This means that only 50 MW of solar power projects can be connected to the main power grid each year.
Solar power developers questioned the department’s decision, noting that this volume was only 18 percent of the 269 MW originally presented by Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to President Benigno Aquino III during the launch of the National Renewable Energy Program in June 2011.
Almendras had cautioned against putting up higher installation targets on renewable energy projects such as solar projects, which he said, were still expensive and considered intermittent.
The energy official said in a letter to a renewable energy developer the government had decided to limit the installation targets of renewable energy including solar because “the present grid is not designed to handle too much intermittent power coming from RE.”
“This is why we were compelled to limit installation targets of some RE resources until such time that the transmission system is fully upgraded,” he said.
Concerns over solar
Almendras said lessons learned from other countries also underscored the need to be “cautious” for some RE technologies.
He mentioned the failure of US solar firm Solyndra which cost the US government some $600 million while China had an oversupply of solar panels waiting for buyers.
“In Australia, their government has cut back on solar FIT. In the United Kingdom, £1 Million was paid to RE wind developers not to supply the grid to prevent problems in the transmission system and wait until the system is upgraded. Multilateral agencies have also cautioned massive rollouts of RE technologies due to the experience of Spain and Germany,” he said.
Last year, solar energy developers applied for a feed-in tariff rate of P17.95 per kilowatt-hour. The feed-in tariff, if approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission, will be fixed for 20 years and will subsidize the cost of energy producers.
Feed-in tariff
The solar energy developers, however, later revised their FIT application to reflect the lower cost of solar panels and submitted a lower rate of P14.59 per kWh, which proved solar energy cost was going down.
They said the cost of solar electricity was nearing “grid parity” because the total cost of Manila Electric Co.’s electricity (generation, transmission and distribution) was now at P12 per kWh.
Tetchie Capellan, founding president of the Philippine Solar Power Alliance, predicted grid parity would be achieved by 2014. Capellan also said the impact to consumers of the solar utilization was only P0.01 per kWh under the FIT-Allowance, or the “universal charge” wherein all consumers were expected to pay for the cost of using renewable energy.
She said the cost of building a one-MW solar plant had gone down to $2.2 million per MW from as high as $3 million, previously.
The PSPA urged the government to immediately pass the FIT rates for solar projects, as this would encourage electricity consumers to erect solar rooftop systems at their homes, offices and factories as a way to cope with rising electricity cost.
She said solar energy could be easily and quickly installed on rooftops, allowing every home and business establishment to instantly cut their electricity expenses by as much as 30 percent.
Sound investment
Capellan said consumers could fully recover their solar rooftop investment in five to six years and would continue to enjoy free electricity for the next 20 years.
Solar rooftops, she said, could be a sound investment particularly in Metro Manila where rooftop space is vast and power rates are high.
“Critics of solar say the technology is expensive. Waiting is no longer an option as consumers are now suffering from the high price of electricity. It is time for the government to pass the feed-in tariff… to bring immediate relief to electricity consumers,” Capellan said.     source

For Luzon And Visayas Grids PSALM Seeks Fuel, Forex Adjustments

Manila Bulletin
June 30, 2012, 10:42am
Electricity consumers in Luzon will be shouldering additional P0.1059 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in their power bills if the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will approve the application of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) for adjustments in its fuel and purchased power as well as foreign exchange-related (forex) costs.
Visayas end-users, on the other, are bound to experience P0.1157 per kWh cost adjustment in the same true-up recovery scheme sought by the state-run firm. Mindanao consumers will be better placed with a proposed cost reduction of P0.0258 per kWh.
As stated on PSALM’s filing, it is seeking to recoup up to P2.814
billion for Luzon grid’s true-up for fuel and purchased power (TAFPPC) and foreign exchange rate-related costs(TAFxA) covering the periods from March 2010 to February 2011.
For Visayas, the total cost recovery will be P2.203 billion; while a refund of P858.196 million will be extended to Mindanao consumers.
PSALM noted that “it seeks the Commission’s approval for the recovery/refund of true-up adjustment” for the specified billing period.
The stretch of recovery will be over five-year period. Public hearings have been scheduled by ERC on various dates in all three affected grids.
PSALM has emphasized that if it be allowed to pass-on to consumers such cost adjustments, it will “improve its financial standing, allowing it to efficiently comply with its mandate to liquidate all NPC (National Power Corporation) obligations and stranded contract costs in an optimal manner.”
The fuel cost adjustments were calculated from those supplied to various power plants in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, such as the Bauang diesel power plant; Ilijan combined cycle gas facility; Cebu diesel and thermal plants, Power Barges 101, 102 and 103; Iligan diesel power plant, Power Barge 104; Southern Philippines Power and Western Mindanao Power facilities.
The applicant-firm added that “for power plants which were privatized or transferred to a local government unit (LGU) within the March 210 to February 2011 billing period, only the allowable fuel and purchased power costs prior to privatization or turnover were included in the calculations.”
These facilities will include the Ilijan power plant which was privatized over the period; and the Bauang and Iligan diesel power plants which were forfeited by LGUs due to some issues, such as tax arrears. (MMV)     source


DENR owns up to mistake, absolves Harbour Centre
Posted  by Christine F. Herrera 

ENVIRONMENT officials on Friday defended businessman Reghis Romero, whose company has been stockpiling “mountains of coal” beside Manila Bay, and said he violated the terms of his environment compliance certificate only because the government had made a typographical error in the document.
It’s coal, okay? The Environment Department says the coal stockpile is only a hill, but it should be a mountain. The stockpile shown here is said to be 40 metric tons, but it should be 40,000 metric tons.
Environment Management Bureau Director Roberto Sheen confirmed a Manila Standard story documenting the stockpiles, but insisted that Romero was authorized to store the coal near the bay.
“We went to the Manila Harbour Center Port Terminal and confirmed the presence of the coal stockpiles,” Sheen told the Manila Standard.
“But the port terminal is allowed to do so. We found out that it was us that made a mistake and committed a typographical error in the environment compliance certificate.”
Sheen said the typographical error in the ECC showed Romero was only allowed to stockpile 40 metric tons of coal.
“We have rectified the typographical error,” Sheen said.
“The 40 metric tons was a mistake. It should have been 40,000 metric tons.”
The explanation stumped Agham Rep. Angelo Palmones, who said Sheen’s statement was unbelievable.
“What kind of an excuse is that? Is that how desperate they are to cover up and coddle violators of environmental laws, by simply declaring a violation as a mere typographical error and conveniently rectifying it by a mere Snopake?” Palmones said.
Palmones and Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaigner Anna Abad demanded a probe and the suspension of Romero’s coal stockpiling operations until those responsible for violating a Supreme Court writ protecting the bay are penalized and safety measures were put in place.
On Thursday, the Manila Standard published photos of the mountains of coal sitting by the bay inside the 10-hectare Harbour Center Port Terminal. Some of the shots were taken as recently as three days ago.
But Sheen refused to answer any more questions about the stockpiling, saying he had to submit his report and findings first to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje before he could disclose them to the Manila Standard.
Palmones said Romero’s ECC did not explicitly state that he was allowed to store coal in the 10-hectare port terminal.
The ECC, Palmones said, only allowed “general cargo.”
“It is only Romero’s own interpretation that coal is included in the term ‘general cargo.’ The law requires all activities with potential adverse impact to the environment to be expressly allowed under the ECC, otherwise it is prohibited,” Palmones said.
“There was no mention anywhere in the ECC of a ‘coal stockyard,’ so it means any stockpiling is not allowed. It is that simple.”
Palmones said he would not allow Romero to go scot-free by virtue of a “typographical error.”
“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is mandated to protect the environment,” he said.
“But it looks like they wanted to be called the Department of Trade and Industry. So they are in trading now? The [Environment Department] must immediately suspend Romero’s operations until after mitigating and safety measures are put in place.”
Abad agreed and said Romero was exposing the public and the workers to health risks and Manila Bay to pollution.
She said Romero’s coal mountains were more than enough proof that the government wanted the country to be dependent on coal.
She said that under President Aquino, renewable energy projects were gathering dust while the government encouraged the use of coal. As a result, environmentalists had taken to calling Energy Secretary Rene Almendras “Coalmendras.”
Palmones and Abad demanded that Romero make public if he owned those coal stockpiles.
They also wanted to know if the coal was being used locally or if the country was just being used as a transit hub.
Palmones reiterated his demand that the President fire Paje and initiate a top-to-bottom revamp since his officials allowed Romero to violate the Supreme Court writ.
Energy officials, meanwhile, said Almendras had ordered the department’s Coal Division to investigate the reports about the mountains of coal at the Harbour Center Port Terminal.
Energy Assistant Secretary Ramon Oca said coal stockpiled at the port was not for power generation but for the use of small industries, and that the port was being used as a trans-shipment point for delivery to buyers.
He said the concerns about the coal had already been taken up during a meeting with the Manila city government and added that a new circular would strengthen the regulations on coal trading.
Manila 3rd District Councilor Joel Chua said the Environment Department had informed them that the Harbour Center Port Terminal had complied with environmental regulations.
“We were informed by the DENR that HCPTI was compliant. It has the required environment compliance certificate for its operations,” Chua told the Manila StandardWith Alena Mae Flores, Macon Ramos-Araneta and Lailany Gomez
(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/June/30)     source

ERC approves Meralco rate hike

By Neil Jerome Morales (The Philippine Star) Updated June 30, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Expect higher electricity bills in the coming days as lead power distributor Manila Electric Co. has been allowed higher distribution and metering charges beginning next month.
Meralco said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved its petition for a maximum average price (MAP) of P1.6303 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) for distribution, supply and metering charges to different customer classes.
This developed as the National Power Corp. (Napocor), through its unit Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), is seeking as much as 10.59 centavos per kwh rate increase.
“These will be reflected in the bills of Meralco customers starting July,” Meralco said. The rates will be in effect until June 30, 2013.
Approved MAPs for 2011 and 2012 were P1.6464 per kwh and P1.6012 per kwh, respectively. Meralco’s original petition was for MAP of P1.6333 per kwh. In the petition, a household with an average monthly consumption of 200 kwh should expect a 16.4-percent increase in MAP from P1.0278 per kwh to P1.1962 per kwh.
Households consuming 201-300 kwh per month should expect a 12-percent increase to P1.5535 per kwh from P1.3851 per kwh while those with an average consumption of 301-400 kWh will bear a 9.8-percent increase to P1.8907 per kwh from P1.7223 per kwh.
Meralco earlier said the higher MAP under the Performance Based Rate (PBR) mechanism would reflect the company’s performance incentive and that it would carry cost for under-recoveries for 2011.
The ERC conducts an annual review of the rates of all private distribution utilities, taking into consideration the power distributors’ performance against mandated technical and customer service standards.
The PBR, an internationally accepted rate-setting methodology, aims to give consumers a higher level of service while allowing distribution utilities to achieve a reasonable return and ensure efficient service and system upgrades.
In the first quarter, Meralco added 40,000 new customers, bringing the total to a record 5.07 million as of end-March.
Meralco, which is indirectly controlled by Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd. and partly owned by San Miguel Corp., posted a core net income growth of five percent to P3.42 billion in the first quarter.
Its target core profit for this year – or excluding non-recurring item – is P15 billion from P14.9 billion last year.
Rate hike petition
Meanwhile, state-run PSALM has applied for a 10.59-centavo per kwh rate increase for Luzon, and 11.57-centavo for Visayas. At the same time, it is seeking 2.58-centavo per kwh price cut for the Mindanao grid.
The ERC said PSALM has filed an application of its “true up adjustments of fuel and purchased power costs and foreign exchange-related costs.”
“(PSALM) seeks the ERC’s approval for the recovery and refund of the above-stated total true-up adjustments for the billing period March 2010 to February 2011,” ERC said.
A higher rate would enable PSALM “to improve its financial standing,” and “to efficiently comply with its mandate under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to liquidate all Napocor’s financial obligations and stranded contract costs in an optimal manner.”
Currently, effective rates of Napocor are P5.704 per kwh for Luzon, P4.5827 per kwh for Visayas and P2.9744 for Mindanao.
ERC said PSALM wants to recover a total of P2.814 billion of costs from consumers in Luzon and P2.2 billion from the Visayas. But the state-owned firm plans to implement a refund of P858.196 million to customers in the Mindanao grid.
The “true-up” adjustments will be implemented for five years for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, PSALM said.
The ERC has scheduled a public hearing on the petition on July 19 for stakeholders in Luzon, July 26 for Visayas and July 31 for Mindanao. PSALM was created under the 2001 EPIRA law to privatize government power assets as well as manage power plants and debts of Napocor. It buys the fuel requirements of state-owned power plants.
After the privatization of its power facilities, Napocor’s function would be limited to power generation in off-grid areas utilizing power plants not sold by PSALM.     source

Not fit for a coal yard

Posted  by Manila Standard Today 
The port industrial area operated by Manila Harbour Centre in the center of Manila’s old business district will hardly qualify as a coal yard that can minimize or control the hazardous impact of the fuel source to the environment.
When mishandled, the tons of coal stored in the port operated by businessman Reghis Romero will emit toxic air, discharge dangerous waste water and produce hazardous solid byproducts.
Critics have every right to accuse Romero of illegally stockpiling “mountains of coal” that pollute the air and waters of Manila Bay in violation of a Supreme Court’s writ protecting the bay. Environment Secretary Ramon Paje also deserves blame for sleeping on the job and allowing Romero’s company to import coal despite the absence of an environmental compliance certificate to stockpile the fuel in the port area.
Manila Harbour Centre may be using its facility as a transshipment point for the eventual delivery of the fuel to small industries other than power plants. Just the same, the company is not equipped to handle nor store coal in the safest manner.
Agham Rep. Angelo Palmones noted that Manila Harbour Centre unloads the coal “using clampshells and through trucks without any protection to control fugitive dust from polluting the air,” adding that it didn’t have sufficient sprinkler systems to control the release of dust particulates and prevent spontaneous combustion.
Mr. Romero should be informed that the modern coal-fired power plants in the Philippines invest a lot of money and build state-of-the-art facilities to properly store coal and mitigate the impact of the fuel to the environment. Team Energy, the biggest operator of coal-fired power plants in the Philippines, for one, has installed an advanced water spray system, dust collectors, an air monitoring station, ash lagoons and waste water treatment plants in its power plants to alleviate possible environmental risks.
The water sprinkling system eliminates coal dust produced at the yard and from truck unloaders, while the sewage treatment plant aims to prevent water pollution. Mr. Romero, in his haste to make money from coal trading, may have omitted the environment and the people living nearby from his equation.
(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/June/30)    source

Meralco, Aboitiz reject smaller Subic coal plant

Posted  by Alena Mae S. Flores 
SUBIC FREEPORT—Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. said Friday it has no plans to scale down its planned 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant at the Subic Bay Freeport despite opposition from several sectors.
Aaron Domingo, RP Energy president, told reporters following after a public hearing at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center that it would not be economical for the company to pursue a smaller 300-MW coal plant despite obtaining an environmental clearance certificate. RP Energy is controlled by Meralco PowerGen Corp., a unit of Manila Electric Co., with Aboitiz Power Corp. as the other major owner.
The proposed Subic project will use two single high-efficiency 300-MW units utilizing the latest clean coal technology. The entire project is estimated to cost $1.28 billion.
“When building coal plants, the larger the cheaper per mWh… We’re confident of getting an ECC,” Domingo said.
RP Energy obtained an ECC to put up a 300-MW plant and started consultations with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and other concerned sectors for the issuance of a separate ECC for the second 300-MW station.
“We would like to think that reason will prevail, if we show, and we will show, that it is cheaper that we will build a 600-MW [plant],” he said.
(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/June/30)    source

Friday, June 29, 2012

Power rates up next month

Business World Online
Posted on June 29, 2012 07:07:17 PM

POWER RATES will go up next month as distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has been allowed by regulators to charge higher average distribution, supply and metering charges.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved new rates for the regulatory year starting July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, the firm told the bourse on Friday.

"The order translates a maximum average price of P1.6303 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) into new distribution, supply, and metering charges to the different customer classes," it said, adding that the adjustments will be reflected in Meralco bills starting July.

"We issued the provisional authority on Thursday. The reason why the approved rate is lower than petitioned is because we used the latest available figures to determine our own calculation," ERC Executive Director Francis Saturnino C. Juan toldBusinessWorld.

A detailed breakdown of the adjustments was not made available.

In its May 7 petition asking the ERC for permission to implement maximum average prices of P1.6333/kWh from the current P1.6012/kWh, Meralco proposed supply charges of P0.596/kWh from P0.5475/kWh and metering charges of P0.4012/kWh from P0.3664/kWh. Supply charges, or the cost of billing, collections and other related services, and metering charges are flat for all residential customer classes.

For distribution charges, meanwhile, Meralco wanted an increase to P1.962/kWh from P1.078/kWh for residential consumers using up to 200 kWh, P1.5535/kWh from P1.3851/kWh for those consuming 201-300 kWh, P1.5535/kWh from P1.3851/kWh for consumers of 301-400 kWh and P2.4780/kWh from P2.3096/kWh for those that use over 400 kWh per month.

Industrial users, meanwhile, with a minimum demand of 40 kW to less than 200 kW would have their supply charges raised to P990 from the current P910 under the Meralco petition. Large industrial users that consume 200 kW to less than 750 kW will pay supply charges of P4,110 while industrial users of 750 kW to less than 10,000 kW have to pay P14,920, the firm said.

The adjustment approval for Meralco came as Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Co. (PSALM) also asked the ERC for permission to increase rates in Luzon by P0.1059/kWh and the Visayas by P0.1157/kWh to recover fuel and foreign exchange costs from February 2010 to March 2011.

Mindanao rates, on the other hand, will be decreased by P0.0258/kWh.

The PSALM petition will undergo a public hearing with the ERC starting July 19 until July 31, the regulator said in a notice published on Friday.

Shares of Meralco closed at P253.40 on Friday, up 0.96% from its previous close of P251 apiece.     source

Zambales officials want taxes from Subic power plant

Business World Online
Posted on June 29, 2012 06:20:25 PM

SUBIC, ZAMBALES -- Local government officials have called on proponents of a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant to move the planned facility outside an economic zone here so property taxes can be collected.

  "RP Energy (Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc.) will not be paying any real property taxes because they will be located inside Subic Bay Freeport. Unlike the Masinloc plant which pays P300 million in real property taxes, they will not be paying at all," Zambales Vice-Governor Ramon G. Lacbain claimed at public consultation on Friday, referring to the provision wherein locators at economic zones are exempt from certain taxes.

"Why not move it out of Subic…if a coal plant is really needed so at least the people benefit more?," he said.

Meralco PowerGen Corp.--one of the proponents behind the plant--for its part said it would be difficult to change the plans as it will have to reconsider factors such as water depth and grid connections.

The firm is working with Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp. under the RP Energy joint venture.

"It will delay our plans," Aaron A. Domingo, executive vice-president of Meralco PowerGen, said in a press conference after the hearing.

Mr. Domingo went on to add that the project proponents may still end up paying taxes anyway even if the $1.2-billion plant is located within the economic zone as they will sell the output outside the area.

"We are currently seeking advice from private accounting firms regarding the real property tax issue…" he said.

The power plant is expected to help augment Luzon's power supply and is targeted for operation beginning 2015. The Energy department previously said it is counting on the committed capacity of the Subic power plant to help deliver needed power when demand increases in 2015.

RP Energy already has the environmental clearance for the first 300-MW unit of the power plant but has yet to receive permits for the second unit.

Mr. Domingo said the company "will not build the power plant without the second unit".

Zambales Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr., for his part, said more studies conducted before a decision can be made for the power plant.

Mr. Lacbain similarly added that RP Energy must put into writing the project's proposed benefits to the community to make up for the potential emissions from the coal plant.

Shares of Meralco closed at P253.40, up 0.96% from its previous close of P251 a piece.

Shares of Aboitiz Power closed at P34.15, down 0.87% from its previous close of P34.45 a piece.     source

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ERC OKs China-made prepaid power meters

business mirror


THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Thursday said it had recently approved the application of Xen Energy Systems Inc. (Xen Energy) of China for its Libra-type watt-hour or prepaid electricity meters.
ERC said it would issue a Certificate of Approval (CoA) to Xen Energy signifying that the meter type Libra is eligible for use in revenue metering of electricity consumption of end-users served by distribution utilities (DUs) or redistributors.
“The ERC will always be on guard to protect the best interest of electricity consumers. Rest assured that the ERC screens all meter types to meet the rigid local and international standards before they are allowed to be used by distribution utilities as revenue meters,” Zenaida Ducut, ERC chairman, said.
Libra is a prepaid metering device operating on a dual wire single phase with a 100 amperes instantaneous rating, the ERC said. It operates with a 240 volts capacity.
The prepaid meters are manufactured by the Wasion Group Limited of 468 West Tongzipo Road, High-New-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Changsa, Hunan, China.
Meter manufacturers and dealers introducing a particular meter type to the market must first seek a CoA from ERC. The approval will ensure that the watt-hour meters installed by DUs and redistributors conform with the standards set by the ERC, and will guarantee the proper functioning under normal conditions for the benefit of both electricity consumers and DUs or redistributors.