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ERC issues strict rules on planned power outages

Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has issued stringent rules on planned electricity outages to promote accountability among power plant operators and the transmission grid operator as well as ensure stable electricity prices.

The limits for the allowed number of days that power plants should undergo shutdown, both planned and unplanned, are spelled out in the 'Rules for the Interim Reliability Performance Indices and Equivalent Outage Days Per Year of Generating Units.'

'The ERC needs to ensure that generating plants are well-maintained and perform within the benchmark/standard per technology for all generating units,' ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera said in a statement.

'This will not only ensure reliable supply but will also stabilize the price of electricity due to less or nonexposure to the volatile prices in the spot market,' Devanadera said.

She said these rules sought to set a reliability performance benchmark per technology for all generating units to lessen outages and ensure predictable power supply and rate; promote accountability of power generation firms and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, and monitor the actual planned and unplanned outage days of all power generators.

For example, a power plant that runs on pulverized coal should not be out of service for more than 44.7 days in a year-including 27.9 days of planned outage and 16.8 days of unplanned outage.

Also, a power plant that runs on gas should not be out of service for more than 29.2 days-including 6.5 days of planned outage and 22.7 days of unplanned outage.

For a geothermal power plant, it should not be out of service for more than 19.7 days-including six days of planned outage and 13.7 days of unplanned outage.

'By setting and giving specific parameters on the standard planned and unplanned outages, the generation companies are obligated to ensure that the generating plants are properly maintained and, thus, lessen the unplanned outages,' Devanadera said.

The rules, 'specifically the parameters set for the planned outages, will serve as a guide for the implementation of the Grid Maintenance Program, while the parameters for the unplanned outages will serve as the standard for the generating units,' she added.


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