Historical Background of SPUG
In 1988, President Corazon C. Aquino directed NPC and NEA to impose a ceiling of Php 2.50 per kWh selling rate of electricity in the islands and isolated grids not connected to the major transmission networks of NPC. To implement the directive, the cost of generation and delivery of electric power had to be subsidized by the government to sustain operation of the power facilities.
This facilitated government-owned NPC's takeover of the generating facilities and 69 kV T/L of various electric cooperatives (ECs) nationwide. The takeover was supported by MOAs between NPC, NEA and the ECs. The Small Island and Isolated Grids (SIIG) group was created by NPC sometime in 1988 primarily to manage the operation of these facilities.
Around the latter part of the 1980s to early 1990s, power shortages gripped the country into a crisis. One of the measures implemented by NPC was the formation of the Integrated Barge Management Group (IBMG) to bring together the operation of the different power barges into a single unit. The barges with smaller capacities - such as, the 2 MW, 3 MW, 7.2 MW and 14.4 MW power barges - operated in some of the areas of SIIG.
When the power crisis started winding down with the installation of new and larger baseload power capacities, a number of power barges were scheduled for sale and disposal. In 1996, the function of IBMG was merged with that of SIIG, giving birth to what is now known as the Small Power Utilities Group or SPUG.
SPUG Operations Updates (as of June 2016)
To date, NPC-SPUG owns and operates 465 generating units with a total rated capacity of 194.722 MW in 239 areas. This nationwide operation is composed of 275 land-based power plants, 1 hydroelectric plant, 1 hybrid wind turbine farm and 8 barge-mounted power plants. It serves customers in isolated grids/areas consisting of 47 Distribution Utilities (Electric Cooperatives and Local Government Units)