- Published on Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00
By A Web design Company
The Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM), one of the solutions seen to alleviate the 200- to 300-megawatt power shortage in the island, may not be able to make it one time before the critical summer months set in this year.
The Department of Energy, which earlier hoped to see its proposed interim electricity market in Mindanao in place before the dry season, said that the “operationalization of the IMEM may not happen in summer.”
Department of Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said that the project will not be able to proceed until the Energy Regulatory Commission has given its approval for the proposed P34-million budget for the spot market.
“The funds are already there with the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) to commence with the infrastructure, the problem is we can’t touch it because we don’t have any ERC approval yet,” Petilla said.
“But we have stressed to ERC and I’m quite sure they’re also aware of the problem of Mindanao and even they are assuring PEMC that they will prioritize the ERC approval of the budget. The money is already there, what we’re asking is a go signal to touch it,” the energy chief noted.
Petilla, however, said that if he is to decide, he would want to start with the IMEM right away.
The ERC, meanwhile, said that it still “has no timeline yet as to when it (the budget) will be approved.”
The IMEM, a trading platform which would create an electricity market in Mindanao, is being seen to help boost power supply in the island especially in the coming summer months.
It hopes to make available untapped generation capacity by allowing generating firms and other industries to sell their uncontracted capacity to the grid.
With the looming delay of the IMEM, Petilla said the DOE is now putting in place other measures in anticipation of a shortage in supply in Mindanao this summer.
“We are now doing an inventory on the interruptible load program (ILP), there are a lot who are willing to participate now,” he noted.
Under the ILP, a distribution utility and a participating customer is allowed to enter into a contract wherein the customer agrees to partially or fully be disconnected for certain periods of time.
In turn, the distribution utility pays the customer a de-loading compensation.
According to Petilla, some 160 MW of capacity are expected to be freed up by those who have shown interest in participating with the ILP in Mindanao.
In addition, the energy chief said the DOE is now ironing out the issues surrounding the sale of 102-megawatt (MW) Iligan diesel-fired power plant.