by Alena Mae S. Flores – May 04, 2016 at 12:01 am
from Manila Standard Today
The Energy Department is confident that Luzon and Visayas will have adequate power supply during the May 9 national elections as power plants come back from maintenance shutdown and more than 400 megawatts from natural gas plants become available.
Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada told reporters that as of Monday, only the 180- MW capacity from the Kalayaan hydro facility was under maintenance shutdown.
She said the 300 MW of the Ilijan natural gas plant tripped on Monday but was also expected to immediately come back online.
Monsada said the two natural gas plants of First Gen Corp., namely the 100-MW Avion and 414-MW San Gabriel natural gas plants in Batangas have started testing and commissioning that could provide additional buffer in case of increased demand.
“There will be additional capacity from San Gabriel and Avion. During the election period, they will be commissioning, around 400 MW which we have not added to the outlook. So we are confident in terms of capacity,” the energy chief said.
Monsada reiterated that Mindanao may still have rotating brownouts in some residential areas although voting centers will have available power.
Monsada is also hoping that the first 105-MW unit of the Sarangani Energy coal plant will be up and running by May 9.
“We’re just hoping there will not be many unplanned or forced plant outages,” Monsada said, noting that there was a power shortage last April 15 because 10 power plants went offline.
No brownouts occurred on that day as participants of the Interruptible Load Program did not draw power from the grid and used their generating sets to reduce demand.
She said Luzon can also export power to Visayas, if needed, although both Luzon and Visayas are expected to have adequate supply.
Monsada added that the department will also continue to monitor power supply after the elections because peak demand is expected to occur in May.
“Historically, peak demand happens in May. So even after elections, we will monitor,” she said.
Monsada said Luzon’s actual consumption has already reached 9,800 MW in mid-April due to the high temperatures.
Based on National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ power outlook, available power supply is seen to reach as high as 10,929 MW on Friday while demand is seen to reach the highest on Thursday at 9,617 MW.
On election day, National Grid projects demand to reach only 7,564 MW against available capacity of 10,373 MW.