DUs asked to submit development plans

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By MYRNA V. VELASCO Contributor
August 30, 2021

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THE Department of Energy (DOE) is mandating all distribution utilities (DUs) to submit their updated Distribution Development Plan (DDP) that shall factor in supply-demand as well as load growth projections in their network; and for them to flesh out also the coverage of their power supply agreements.
    
In an advisory issued by Energy Undersecretary Emmanuel P. Juaneza, it was stipulated that the updated DDP shall cover the periods from 2021 to 2030; and that submission to the Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB) of the department shall be this August for the private DUs as well as those who are operating power distribution systems in economic zones.
    
For the electric cooperatives (ECs), their updated DDPs shall first be furnished to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) by Aug 15; which in turn will submit it to the DOE by Aug 31 this year.
    
In the updated DDP, the energy department has instructed the DUs to include their “historical performance and forecasts of demand and energy requirement” within the stretch of the 10-year planning period.
    
The power utilities had been further instructed to provide details on their power supply procurement plans – including the portion of their targeted supply portfolio that are not yet covered by power supply deals.
    
Further, the DUs have been required to list down all the facilities they will be installing or constructing; and they must also provide details on the capacities of these assets to withstand extreme weather conditions, as well as their reliability capabilities when it comes to load network operations.
    
And given the prevailing Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) policy in the restructured power sector, the DUs will likewise need to demarcate their contestable customers or those who can already choose and can contract with their preferred power suppliers; vis-à-vis those who are still ‘captive’ or have remained in the service domain of the franchised DUs or electric cooperatives.
    
The other items required by the DOE in the development plans of the power utilities are those on: provision of service in unviable areas; installation of renewable energy and other emerging technologies in their service areas; deployment of energy efficiency technologies and other energy conservation measures that they have been introducing to their customers.
    
The DOE opined that the updating of the DDPs will be a “critical input in the overall economic and energy development planning at the national and local levels.”
    
From the distribution plans submitted by the power utilities, the energy department will have to craft the Power Development Plan (PDP) that will integrate all the plans and outlooks of the various segments of the power industry – including those from the power generation and transmission sub-segments.
    
The PDP, in turn, will be consolidated subsequently into the final Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) which factors in all the blueprints of investments, expansions as well as supply-demand outlooks of all sectors – including those in the upstream and downstream oil sector; as well as the ongoing and emerging innovations across industries.
    
The PEP is submitted annually to the Joint Congressional Energy Commission (JCEC), or the legislative oversight body for the energy sector, as anchored on the prescription of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

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