Regulator to act on NGCP’s AS appeal this month

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) expects to rule on a request by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to seek monthly extensions on its ancillary services agreements.

“We are expecting the evaluation memo this week so we can resolve it within the month,” ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Monalisa C. Dimalanta said in a Viber message to BusinessWorld.

The ERC said that it is reviewing the NGCP’s motion for reconsideration and will rule upon the same “expeditiously.”

The NGCP is required to enter into standby power contracts with power generators in case baseload power levels drop to where the grid operator will need to ration power.

The contracts to tap standby power, known as ancillary services (AS), entail costs which the NGCP has warned will lead to higher power bills for consumers.

The NGCP is required by law to maintain a minimum level of AS power in reserve as a safety buffer in the event baseload plants fail.

On March 28, the ERC said it received a motion for reconsideration from the NGCP after the commission denied NGCP’s request for an extension to its AS procurement exercise.

After the ERC rejection, the NGCP warned of possible power supply interruptions during dry season.

The Department of Energy (DoE) has said that it would not intervene as it is also awaiting the ERC ruling on NGCP’s appeal.

The NGCP had sought permission from the DoE for month-to-month extensions of its ancillary services procurement agreement. — Ashley Erika O. Jose