SNAP gets ERC’s authority on new ancillary service agreements

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SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) Group’s Magat, Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectric power plants have been granted provisional authority from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on three new ancillary services procurement agreements (ASPA). The agreements entered into are for the provision of reactive power support ancillary services (RPS-AS) for the Luzon Grid, all with a validity of five years.

In the orders dated May 7, 2019 for Ambuklao and Binga hydros, and May 10, 2019 for Magat hydro, the ERC said that the approval of the joint application filed by SNAP and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) would help “improve the availability of ancillary services in the Luzon Grid and significantly lower the cost of these services to the benefit of the customers”.

Ancillary services are those capacity and energy needed to maintain stable and reliable operations of the interconnected transmission system. RPS-AS refer to the generating units’ capability to inject or absorb reactive power from the grid to maintain the voltage within the standard levels set by the Philippine Grid Code, and support the reliable transmission of electrical power from generating power plants to the consumers.

SNAP Group President and CEO Joseph S. Yu said they “welcome the development. Part of SNAP’s mission is to provide energy solutions including the services necessary to maintain power quality, reliability and security of the grid.”

SNAP’s hydro plants also provide other types of ancillary services covered by three existing ASPAs provisionally approved in 2016 and 2017.

NGCP is a privately-owned company that operates and develops the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through so-called “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations and related assets.

SNAP Group is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower. It supplies clean, renewable and dependable energy through the operation of the 105-megawatt (MW) Ambuklao hydro, and the 140-MW Binga hydro in the province of Benguet. SNAP also operates the 8.5-megawatt Maris hydro in Isabela, as well as the newly uprated 360- to 388-MW Magat hydro on the border of Isabela and Ifugao.

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