‘NGCP failed to contractsufficient power reserves’

Power Watch Negros Secretary General Wennie Sancho on Monday, January 22, said he believes that the root cause of the massive blackouts in Panay on January 2-4 was the failure of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to contract sufficient power reserves for energy reliability.

The Department of Energy (DOE) for the past two years has been reminding the NGCP of its obligation to provide sufficient levels of Ancillary Services (AS) or power reserves as provided in Department Circular No. DC 2019-12-0018 entitled “Adopting a General Framework Governing the Provision and Utilization of Ancillary Services in the Grid”, Sancho said in a press release.

The circular mandates the NGCP as the System Operator (SO) to procure Ancillary Services (AS) through “firm” contracts which should be 4 percent of the power demand and could be tapped in case power plants go off line. This is to ensure that the facilities contracted to provide AS are always available whenever needed by the system for reliability of the grid, he said.

Sancho said unfortunately, the DOE sees the NGCP is consistent on not complying with its responsibility with the “firm” contracting requirement. The NGCP has been dragging its feet by pursuing insufficient capacity and even opting on unreliable “non-firm” AS Procurement Agreements (ASPA’s), Energy Chief Alfonso Cusi stated.*

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