ERC settles dispute between TransCo, Northwind Power

- Donnabelle L. Gatdula -
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has resolved the power delivery service (PDS) dispute between the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) and the Northwind Power Development Corp. (NPDC).

The ERC ordered TransCo "to bill its PDS charges as a result of the delivery of electricity by NPDC to Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (INEC) until the resolution of the instant case or approval of the connection charging policy (CCP)."

ERC also ordered NPDC to post a cash bond to answer for the actual PDS charges from June 2005 until the resolution of the said case. The amount of the bond was set at P8.67 million representing the PDS charges imposed by TransCo on INEC for the billing period of May-June 2005 and June-July 2005.

The said amount shall be deposited with the commission in trust for TransCo within 10 days from the receipt of the order.

In the event that after due notice and hearing, the commission decides the appropriate PDS charges for NPDC for the period starting June 2005 until the resolution of this case or approval of the CCP, TransCo shall be allowed to withdraw from the bond in accordance with the PDS charges as determined by the commission.

The ERC said in case the bond posted is insufficient to answer for the said charges, NPDC shall pay the balance to TransCo within the period provided by the commission.

On Sept. 6 this year, NPDC filed a letter-complaint relative to the alleged erroneous implementation by TransCo of the pertinent provisions of the open access transmission service (OATS) guidelines.

In the same letter, NDPC sought provisional relief to the commission in the form of a restraining order enjoining TransCo from enforcing and further imposing PDS charges against INEC for the power deliveries of NPDC.

A few days after, TransCo informed the ERC that the issues raised by NPDC have been addressed by the parties through the offering of the consolidated power bill with both INEC and NPDC.

To resolve the conflict, the ERC convened on Oct. 10 the parties involved to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement. NPDC and TransCo appeared but failed to reach a settlement agreement.

To prevent the province of Ilocos Norte from experiencing power interruptions because of the case, the ERC decided to step into the case.

"Considering that the dispute at bar involves the alleged erroneous implementation of TransCo’s PDS charges as a result of the delivery of electricity by NPDC to INEC and that the non-payment of NDPC of such charges would result to its inability to deliver electricity to INEC equivalent to around 40 percent of the latter’s electricity requirement, the commission deemed it imperative to immediately resolve the instant motion in order to forestall any power interruption within INEC’s franchise area pending the final resolution of this case," the ERC said.












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