After last week’s filing of Senate Resolution No. 219 seeking to scrutinize the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) mandate in safeguarding the grid amid national security concerns, Senator Win Gatchalian has filed three more resolutions in his desire to probe NGCP.
In Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 225, Gatchalian wants to probe the creation and timely implementation of the Transmission Development Plan to ensure that the expansion of the electric power transmission grid is responsive to accommodate new power generation facilities in order to meet increase in electricity demand.
The creation and implementation of Transmission Development Plan is crucial to ensure that transmission projects go hand in hand with new power plant projects.
Data from the Department of Energy show that the Philippines will need 43,765 MWs additional capacity by 2040. As of September 2019, there are 33 delayed NGCP transmission line projects which may curtail accommodation of approximately 15,545.4 MWs of committed and indicative capacity in the grid.
Resolution Nio. (SRN) 226 aims to check the compliance of the Energy Regulatory Commission with its commitment to resolve with urgency the pending issues of the transmission grid operator for the benefit of all electric power end users.
Resolution No. (SRN) 227 is in response to the ongoing concerns over potential Chinese interference in the country’s power transmission line through the China-owned State Grid Corporation, which has a 40% stake in the NGCP.
“The NGCP as system operator is responsible for the connection and operational requirements for the introduction of variable energy in the grid, contracting reserves, the timely build of necessary transmission facilities based on the Transmission Development Plan and faithful operation and maintenance of the transmission and sub-transmission facilities, and other assets which constitute the national grid,” the lawmaker pointed out.
“Several hearings by the Senate Energy Committee and the Joint Congressional Energy Commission show serious concerns pertaining to the operations of NGCP which adversely affect the quality, reliability, and security of the supply of electric power,” he said.
Gatchalian contends that the probe is necessary in order for Congress to be made aware of the operations of the grid and to ensure accountability on the part of NGCP as it performs its duties and functions as the system operator.
The Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee has earlier expressed concerns that there is a need to verify whether Filipinos, not Chinese, are in charge of the day-to-day management of the grid because with just a single switch, no electricity will be transmitted to our homes, businesses and even to our military facilities.