MANILA -- Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco has called on all power sector stakeholders to contribute to moves toward increasing power supply in the country to address power interruptions.
In a statement on Thursday, the lawmaker urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and industry players to “act swiftly on the next round of biddings for much-needed greenfield baseload capacity.”
This, after the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) finished the signing of Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) with several providers last September for a total of 1,700 megawatts (MW) baseload and mid-merit capacity starting in December this year.
Baseload power refers to the amount of electricity needed to be supplied to a power grid any time of the day, while mid-merit capacity is the requirement to be provided based on demand throughout the day.
The PSAs were signed in line with the DOE’s policy for distribution utilities (DUs) to contract capacities through competitive selection process (CSP) to be administered by a third-party bids and awards committee (TPBAC).
Velasco said there is a need to secure capacity now given the rising demand for power.
“Our country urgently needs additional capacity to support the current Administration’s golden age of infrastructure,” he said, adding that “the record number of Yellow and Red Alerts that plagued Luzon grid customers this year should not be allowed to recur in the coming years.”
The Luzon grid experiences red and yellow alerts especially during the summer months due to lack of supply since hydropower plants are on maintenance shutdown due to the dry season.
Velasco said ensuring the availability of baseload capacity will benefit the consumers “as this is aligned with the Duterte Administration’s goal of bringing down the cost of electricity and ensuring a steady and continued supply of power across the country.”
He urged other DUS and electric cooperatives “to expedite their own CSPs, in strict compliance with the DoE’s CSP guidelines, to support the building of greenfield power facilities.”
“We call on both public and private sector to boost such crucial government initiatives in finding ways to provide adequate supply at lower costs to the end-users,” he added.
“This is especially in line with the landmark Republic Act No. 11371, known as Murang Kuryente Act signed in August 2019, which sets the stage for this milestone step to make available a reliable, resilient and inexpensive energy supply to Filipino consumers.” (PNA)