AboitizPower: ILP to mitigate power shortfall

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


ONE of the country’s leading power producers is throwing its support to the country’s interruptible load program (ILP) to address power shortage in the coming months.

AboitizPower (AP) said in a statement that ILP would avert the anticipated power shortage nationwide starting in April 2015.

The ILP is the system that AboitizPower distribution utilities, Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and Davao Light, have been using for years.

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It was first introduced by Veco in 2009, when the Visayas grid suffered blackouts when the construction of new power plants failed to supply with the fast-growing demand.

“With the help of the Province of Cebu, it was not difficult to convince customers with generation capacity to participate. Since then, Veco and Davao Light have around 90 MW of participating power,” said Veco chief operating officer Sebastian Lacson.

Veco submitted the program to the Electric Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval, and in a 2010 resolution, ILP’s application was made nationwide for all distribution utilities.

Under the program, participating companies with private power generation sets (genset) are compensated for their fuel and other variable costs. Participation is voluntary.

Every time Veco or Davao Light’s System Operations Department detects a power shortfall, they identify which participating company would be best to tap for the requirement.

A quick phone call to the company to switch to their genset for a given period of time, the ILP is activated.

“But because it is voluntary and a participating company declines, the dispatcher just moves on to the next possible power supplier,” Lacson said.

Lacson said part of the improvement being explored is to convert some ILP agreements into Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

Under this scheme, once a company agrees to be part of the PPA, they will be willing to run whenever it becomes necessary.
Veco’s experience with the ILP proved helpful last November and December 2013, when the Visayas suffered a huge power shortfall due to Super Typhoon Yolanda.

ILP covered 43 percent of the supply shortfall that which helped made a difficult time a bit more bearable for its customers.

Currently, Veco has 64 MW and Davao Light has 26.5 megawatts of ILP contracted capacity, composed mostly of large corporations, hotels, and shopping malls.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 20, 2014.

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