ERC looks into outages, high power prices

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it was keeping a close eye on generation companies’ unplanned outages and the recent spikes in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices, amid the ongoing rotational brownouts implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in the Luzon grid.

“We have been monitoring the activities of the generation companies, especially those that underwent unplanned outages, that caused the thinning of power supply in the Luzon Grid. This was aggravated by the increased demand for electricity due to warmer temperatures. As a consequence, there has been sustained high prices in the WESM,” Agnes Devanadera, chair and CEO of ERC, said in a statement.


The ERC earlier sent Notices of Non-Compliance to generation companies (GenCos) to explain the incurred cumulative unplanned outages beyond the maximum allowable unplanned outage days for 2021.

Likewise, the ERC has identified generation companies that are not compliant with the reporting requirements under ERC Resolution No. 4, Series of 2015. Out of the 2,083 incidents on unplanned outages from January to April this year, only 1,288 incidents were reported.

On the other hand, for the 236 incidents on the planned outages, 220 were reported. The Commission will be issuing Show Cause Orders to the GenCos who did not comply with the reporting requirements of the ERC.

The ERC created a task force in April that will study the power plant outages and resulting high prices in the WESM. The task force has already identified the generation plants that will be prioritized for technical inspection to verify the outages, including, but not limited to, the actions undertaken to get the plants back on line.

“The power supply shortage during the summer months has been a perennial problem, and the regulator has been monitoring the situation from day one. There are existing rules and mechanisms in place on how to mitigate the impact to consumers,” Devanadera said.

“Thus, the stakeholders must be responsible in managing their operations efficiently and sensitive enough of the implications of planned or unplanned outages. The Commission has been undertaking all the necessary efforts to help mitigate, if not totally address this recurring challenge,” she said. INQ

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