Big firms SM Group, Ayala save grid from red alerts

Manila Electric Co. said 72 business establishments enrolled under the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) enabled the continuous supply of electricity in its franchise area when the Luzon grid was placed on red alert recently.

Meralco immediately activated the ILP and called on enrolled customers to temporarily de-load when the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) warned that power interruptions were imminent due to insufficient operating reserves last September 12.

The power utility giant’s big-load customers used their own back-up power and collectively de-loaded close to 298 megawatts (MW) from the grid. These customers include SM, Waltermart, Ayala Land, Belle Corp., and Citystate Centre Condo Corp.

Through their help, no manual load dropping was implemented, effectively sparing other Meralco customers from experiencing rotating brownouts.

Meralco said cooperation and support of customers with at least 1-MW power demand are crucial to the success of the ILP.

“As of September 2022, we have about 582 MW from 121 companies enrolled in the ILP. We continue to call on more participants, and to those who are not yet eligible—to exercise prudence in the usage of electricity,” said Engr. Ma. Cecilia M. Domingo, Meralco VP and head of Enterprise and National Government.

Pre-enrolled customers who go temporarily off the grid are entitled to fuel compensation covering the hours when the red alert was raised, in accordance with a formula approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Meralco has encouraged more businesses to join the demand-side management program.