THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has contracted “less than 50 megawatts [MW]” of additional power-generation capacity up to June this year.
“We contracted interim power-supply agreements [Ipsa]. The total capacity is less than 50 MW. We’ve had Ipsas with two or three power firms. One is with Angat. The other is with Global Power, ” Meralco President Oscar Reyes said.
The Ipsas cover for the period April to June this year, Reyes added.
The utility firm, which services 6 million customers in its franchise area, said these would ensure the continuous and reliable supply of electricity for Meralco customers.
These agreements, if approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on time, will mitigate its exposure to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) during the summer months.
Based on the power-situation outlook for 2017 and succeeding years, Meralco foresees a peaking capacity deficit in its portfolio, especially in the summer months.
The additional capacity is meant not only to supply Meralco during the summer months when demand for electricity is at its peak but also for the months when reserves could be affected by the maintenance shutdown of some power plants after the summer period, as well as possible occurrences of forced outage of power plants.
The ERC, however, needs to approve Meralco’s applications for the implementation of the Ipsas.
Meralco forecasts peak demand in its service area to grow by around 5 percent, from last year’s 6,973 MW to 7,328 MW this year.
When needed, MeralCo could always activate its Interruptible Load Program, which works by calling on business customers with loads of at least 1 MW to run their own generator sets, if needed, instead of drawing power from the grid.