THE Department of Energy (DoE) said committed power projects totaling 7,712 megawatts (MW) are expected to add capacity to the grid by 2027, with coal facilities making up half of the estimate. 

“[The power sector] is continuing with the construction of power plants in anticipation of economic recovery. We are expecting an additional capacity of 7,712 megawatts [of committed power projects] from 2021 to 2027,” DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi told President Rodrigo R. Duterte in a mix of Tagalog and English during a briefing late Thursday. 

Committed projects are those that have secured financial closing with their investors or bankers. 

Of the estimate, coal plants will make up around 50% or 3,821 MW, followed by natural gas and renewable energy facilities, with 2,400 MW and 1,053 MW, respectively. 

Meanwhile, capacity from committed battery energy storage system projects is expected to reach 2,459 MW by 2027, based on DoE data. 

In the same briefing, Mr. Cusi also reiterated that there is sufficient power supply for the 2022 elections, citing an initial forecast from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines. 

The grid operator’s initial projections showed power supply in 2022 will not fall below the contingency and regulating minimums, meaning yellow and red alerts are unlikely to happen. 

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate’s energy committee, earlier questioned the DoE’s projections for the 2022 elections as that did not take into consideration forced and unplanned outages and the declining reserves of the offshore Malampaya gas field. 

Mr. Gatchalian last week filed Senate Resolution 867 to look into the preparations of the DoE and the energy industry to ensure unhampered power supply during next year’s elections. — Angelica Y. Yang