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Meralco calls for more ILP participants
Meralco calls for more ILP participants
The January 31 deadline ends, but the utility firm is hopeful that more will sign up for the Interruptible Load Program as the dreaded power shortage in summer nears

MANILA, Philippines – Although the last day of registration ended Saturday, January 31, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is still encouraging potential Interruptible Load Program (ILP) participants to sign up with the utility firm.

ILP works by calling on business customers with loads of at least 1 megawatt (MW) to run their own generator sets, if needed, instead of drawing power from the grid.

Under House Joint Resolution No. 21, the last day of registration for the ILP was January 31.

The House of Representatives on December 10, passed on third and final reading the joint resolution granting special powers to President Benigno Aquino III that are meant to address the projected shortfall in energy reserves in Luzon in summer 2015.  

But Meralco said the firm will defer to the legislature on any new date that maybe set in the final joint resolution.

“Still, we encourage all interested customers to sign up as soon as possible to allow for enough time for preparations ahead of the summer season,” Meralco utility economics head Larry Fernandez said in a text message.

Meralco has signed up a committed interruptible load (CIL) of 209.72 MW from ILP participants as of January 8.

Meralco is also working with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to enable locators in the Cavite public economic zone to join the program, added Fernandez.

The utility firm is eyeing a potential 54.72MW more. There were 45 ILP participants with 163 services, Fernandez added.

SM Prime Holdings, Inc (57.96 MW); Robinsons Land Corporation (23.15 MW); Waltermart Malls (14.30 MW); Ayala Land, Inc (9MW); and Rustans Supercenters, Inc (8.66MW) are the 5 largest ILP participants to date.

Summer nears

ILP though is only one of the 4 options to address to the looming power shortage this summer.

Apart from ILP, the other options are energy saving measures to decrease the possible supply shortfall; expediting ongoing power projects; and trying to lessen forced outages.

The ILP though does not guarantee zero brownouts because it will only be implemented during the red alert level of the power supply. A red alert means there is a supply deficiency.

But ILP should be implemented during yellow alert – not red when there is already insufficient power supply, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla earlier said. A yellow alert means power supply is thin.

Early in January, Malacañang reiterated the need for emergency powers for Aquino to avert an imminent power shortage this summer, which has yet to be granted by the Senate.

Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr admitted that the pending Senate approval is affecting government preparations, especially since Aquino mentioned that it would be most expensive for everyone to have no power. –

Interior of Robinsons Place shopping mall image
from Shutterstock

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