The Energy Regulatory Commission said Friday it issued the rules governing power plant outages to ensure reliability, security and affordability of power supply in the country.“The ERC, as the regulatory body of the electricity sector, needs to ensure that generating plants are well-maintained and perform within the benchmark/standard per technology for all generating units. This will not only ensure reliable supply but will also stabilize the price of electricity due to less or non-exposure to the volatile prices in the spot market,” ERC chairperson Agnes Devanadera said in a statement.It issued the “Rules for the Interim Reliability Performance Indices and Equivalent Outage Days Per Year of Generating Units” which specify the planned and unplanned outage allowances in days per year. The rules aim to ensure reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electric power while it promotes accountability of the generation companies, the system operator and the transmission network provider for greater economic efficiency.The rules provide for an interim benchmark which will apply to generation companies with conventional and non-variable renewable energy generating plants that are connected to the grid, including embedded generating plants with an aggregated or combined capacity of 5 megawatts and more.
“By setting and giving specific parameters on the standard planned and unplanned outages, the generation companies are obligated to ensure that the generating plants are properly maintained and, thus, lessen the unplanned outages,” Devanadera said.The regulator said the standard unplanned outages for the generating plants would be strictly observed. It said this would not only ensure that the generating plants are properly maintained, but would also result in les incidents and occurrences of unplanned outages.The ERC said the rules seek to set a reliability performance benchmark per technology for all generating units to lessen outages and ensure predictable power supply and rate; promote accountability of generation companies, the SO and the TNP to achieve greater operations and economic efficiency; and monitor the actual planned and unplanned outage days of all generating units.Under the rules, the ERC listed the benchmark/standard planned and unplanned outages for the different generating plant technologies.