ERC ‘actively engaging’ with NGCP on SIS backlog

ERC Chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta on Thursday said that they will be sitting down with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in the coming days to address its System Impact Studies (SIS) backlog.

Dimalanta, who was in Iloilo City, shared that they will be coordinating with the NGCP on the specific steps and timelines of the SIS process for a “more focused” discussion on the matter.

This was in addition to their move ordering the NGCP last year to outline their procedures for the SIS through their website.

The SIS is an engineering study that evaluates the impact of a proposed interconnection system, assessing its safety and reliability.

It is necessary in determining the power grid’s capacity to accommodate a new power generator or power plant, and it is here where they determine what other developments are needed, such as the addition of new transmission facilities and improvement of existing ones, among others.

The NGCP recognized that the SIS application backlog has increased significantly over the past years due to increasing power generation demand.

“Prior to [putting their SIS queueing information online], no one really knew who applied for an SIS and what the waiting time was. But now, it’s all in their system because we now require them to be transparent with their process,” Dimalanta shared.

“[The NGCP] does have a catch-up plan on the SIS. So now, we’re fleshing out the plan that we have so that we can really resolve this process,” she added.

NGCP President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Almeda recently said in a statement that they are adopting a “clustering strategy” approach for the SIS, where they would group power plants together based on their common connection point or study area, and would outsource the SIS process, pending the ERC’s accreditation.

Dimalanta chief also addressed NGCP’s backlog on its grid projects, after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called out the private concessionaire during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 24 to finish their Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection.

Dimalanta said that they have issued a show-cause order to NGCP asking it to explain why 37 of its projects are still unfinished.