Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said over the weekend it expects to conclude the competitive selection process for the combined 480 megawatts of supply ahead of the dry season.
Meralco first vice president and head of regulatory management Jose Ronald Valles said the company needed to secure 300 MW for its peaking requirement from Feb. 26 to July 25, 2023 and 180-MW baseload supply from Feb. 26 to Feb. 25, 2024.
“Both are still undergoing CSP. Hopefully, we can conclude the CSP in time for the start of delivery of supply on March 26,” Valles said.
He said four companies expressed interest to supply Meralco’s combined power requirements. The bid submission deadline for the 180-MW contract capacity and the 300-MW contract capacity were set on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, 2023, respectively.
Sources, however, said the two CSPs may be declared a failure because of the lack of qualified bidders, forcing Meralco to conduct another round of bidding.
The Department of Energy forecasts thin power reserves in the Luzon grid starting March.
The DOE said yellow alerts would likely occur on the following dates—March 12 to 18, March 26 and April 1, April 23 to 29, the entire month of May, June 1 to June 10, Aug. 17 to Sept. 2, Oct. 15 to 21 and Nov. 19 to 25.
It expressed hope there would be no sudden outage of large power plants, which could trigger a red alert and implement manual load dropping leading to power outages.
Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said demand-side management is necessary for managing the country’s power supply. DSM focuses on utilizing energy-efficient equipment and appliances and promoting and implementing policies and programs that best fit each industry.
“Let’s save electricity usage so we won’t need additional plants. If our consumption becomes more efficient, we do not need to run the diesel-fired power plants, which are more expensive,” Lotilla said.
Lotilla said power plant construction takes time and could be done overnight.
“That’s what we are trying to address in the medium to long term, the power plants that we need to build,” he said.