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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) are in talks to ensure secure and reliable power supply in the power grid, especially in times of emergencies such as natural disasters.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said he met recently with NGCP president Henry Sy Jr. and National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) president Melvin Matibag to discuss and resolve the issues on ancillary services (AS).

“We asked for the accounting of the ancillary services, how it is working. We laid down the expectations (because) in the concession agreement, we should have a regulating contingency and dispatchable reserve,” Cusi said.

AS are necessary to support the transmission of capacity and energy from resources to loads while maintaining reliable operation of the transmission system in accordance with good utility practice and the grid code.

Based on the initial accounting of NGCP, Cusi said the grid operator has firm and non-firm sources of ancillary sources, which are also part of the country’s existing generating capacity.

The DOE chief likened the AS to a spare tire of a vehicle, which should always be available in times of trouble.

“Right now, you are getting the reserve from the same basket. In a car, it’s like saying your spare tire is also from the four tires being used,” Cusi said.

Moreover, the cost of AS is being passed on to consumers under ancillary charges in electricity bills.

The energy chief said consumers are already paying for the reserves but do not really benefit from it since parts of the power grid are still experiencing fluctuating power supply. It is also not clear how the reserves are used.

“What we are going to do is we are going to analyze (the AS because) they are already charging ancillary charges. We are going to see how we can have a real reserve and all of these things have to be quantitatively computed, including the computation, cost, numbers and sources with a purpose of achieving a stable supply without increasing the cost,” Cusi said.

“There are scheduled meetings so we set the timeline up to the end of the month to really fix the issue of ancillary and how are we going to address that,” Cusi said.


“The DOE is working to protect the welfare of the consumers. We have to be transparent about it. The consumers have to know the expectations,” he added.

Reference:

Rivera, D. (September 13, 2017). DOE, NGCP thresh out issues on ancillary services. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/09/13/1738451/doe-ngcp-thresh-out-issues-ancillary-services

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