Power generators asked to explain high level of unscheduled outages

Power generators asked to explain high level of unscheduled outages

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said on Wednesday that it has asked some generation companies (GenCos) to explain why their unplanned outages have exceeded allowed levels.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ERC said it issued 65 notices of non-compliance with orders to explain (NNCOE) on Dec. 29 against some GenCos which had exceeded acceptable limits for unplanned outages.

The reliability index in force since 2020 sets a maximum number per year for planned and unplanned outages, subject to variation by generating plant technology.

A power plant running on pulverized coal has an outage allowance of 44.7 days a year — 27.9 days planned outages and 16.8 days unplanned.

A circulating fluidized bed power plant should not be out of service for more than 29.2 days — including 6.5 days planned and 22.7 days unplanned.

Under a resolution issued by the ERC in 2020, GenCos are required to submit an event report to the Commission for planned and unplanned outages of generating facilities/units, within 48 hours from the event.

GenCos are also required to submit a weekly summary report to the ERC every Tuesday of the following week declaring outage events at their facilities.

“The ERC Resolution was issued pursuant to the Philippine Grid Code that requires a system of recording and reporting of Grid Reliability determined through a set of indicators,” the Commission said.

According to the ERC, it has imposed approximately P60 million in penalties against GenCos for violating the reliability index.

“If the generation companies served with 65 NNCOEs are later found non-compliant, the ERC will likewise impose appropriate sanctions and penalties against the erring power firms in accordance with the rules of the Commission,” the ERC said.

Separately, ERC Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta has called for amendments to Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 “to allow the application of penalties imposed on erring power firms as refunds to consumers inconvenienced by the power outages.” — Sheldeen Joy Talavera