Published January 5, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Interruptible loads by switching on the generating sets (gensets) of industrial and other big-ticket power end-users will be depended upon anew to save power supply at Luzon grid during the 20-day scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas production platform.
With the government-underpinned interruptible load program (ILP), these power intensive customers can rely on their gensets during critical periods so grid supply can be shored up. By resorting to that, they will be entitled to cost compensation as approved by the industry regulators.
The Department of Energy (DOE) particularly sounded off that “to augment power supply, the DOE readies the interruptible load program (ILP) in which around 900 megawatts are enrolled.”
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi noted that this measure must be amplified by demand-side management (DSM) initiatives – or with consumers taking upon themselves to pursue energy efficiency ingenuities as well as conservation so they would not worsen the grid’s supply-stressed condition on those periods.
It is already well-known that the fuel shift of the gas plants during the Malampaya facility’s downtime will exert upward pressure on electricity rates – and that alone, according to Cusi, must warrant consideration on the part of the consumers to save on power usage.
The Malampaya gas production facility will be on its routine refurbishment and maintenance shutdown from January 28 to February 16 this year. Historically, such activity often triggers double whammy of tight supply and increases in electricity rates.
To manage expectations on the shutdown timeline, Cusi directed that “materials, equipment and other assets necessary for the maintenance of Malampaya should all be delivered by January 15 and these should be ready for deployment to make sure that the repair activities should remain on schedule.”
Based on the energy department’s estimates, power supply capacity may be curtailed to as low as 8,747 megawatts by February 18; while demand is projected to reach as high as 8,610MW by February 9.