DoE: 175 power projects endorsed for impact studies

DoE: 175 power projects endorsed for impact studies

By Sheldeen Joy Talavera, Reporter

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) endorsed 175 projects to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) for system impact studies (SIS) last year.

“This is done to assess the impact of a proposed power generation project on the grid so that it can be determined whether it can really connect and inject power at its proposed connection point,” Monalisa C. Dimalanta, chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), said in a Viber message.

Under the Philippine Grid Code, the NGCP is required to complete the process in 60 days, she said.

The SIS also seeks to identify any upgrades required in the grid to accommodate all the power produced by the projects, she added.

The process is a step before applying for the certificate of compliance (COC), which serves as a permit for the generation facilities to operate.

Data from the DoE showed that it issued SIS endorsements for 158 projects proposed to generate renewable energy.

Meanwhile, 10 are energy storage systems and seven are conventional power projects which sources from oil and gas.

In December alone, 21 energy projects were endorsed to the NGCP, comprising two amendments and 19 new applications.

The project with the largest capacity among all was Vind Energy Corp.’s 3,038-megawatt (MW) NOM FL1 offshore wind project situated offshore of Occidental Mindoro and Batangas.

Terry L. Ridon, a public investment analyst and convenor of think tank InfraWatch PH, said that “there are continuing concerns on the efficiency of the NGCP in concluding SISs, mainly due to its limited personnel.”

“The grid operator has made a commitment to expand its personnel that are working on these requests,” he said in a Viber message.

In July last year, the NGCP said that it will expand its SIS team to boost its capacity and conduct more SIS studies simultaneously.

The grid operator said that, historically, only around 28% of the completed SIS resulted in the establishment of power plants.

“[The] government needs to implement a further process to whittle down proposed generation projects that will not ripen into actual operating facilities,” Mr. Ridon said.

Meanwhile, the DoE  issued three certificates of endorsement to the ERC in December.

These are for the 25-MW circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant of PowerSource Philippines Energy, Inc.; the 61.60-MW alternating current (MWac) Subic new photovoltaic power plant project of Jobin-Sqm, Inc.; and the 130.24-MWac Laoag solar power project of PV Sinag Power, Inc.

Under Republic Act No. 11234, or the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop Act, the ERC is required to complete the process of COC application in 60 days, Ms. Dimalanta said.