Luzon grid on yellow alert as power reserves drop

by Lenie LecturaJune 13, 2016

from Business Mirror

Some 1,887 megawatts (MW) of power have been taken off the Luzon grid owing to the unscheduled shutdown of major power plants.

On Monday morning the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said Luzon was placed on yellow alert by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in the wake of four forced shutdowns of major power plants.

When reserves are thin, the grid operator, NGCP, puts out a yellow alert, which is when the contingency reserve is less than the rated capacity of the largest synchronized unit of the grid. In Luzon this is equivalent to 647 MW, or one unit of the Sual power plant.

“Based on the forecast of the NGCP, Luzon grid [was] on yellow alert from 9:01a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, June 13, as several large power plants experienced forced outages,” Meralco Spokesman Joe Zaldriaga said.

The power plants that suddenly went on forced outage were as follows: Unit 1 (647 MW) of the Sual power plant in Pangasinan; Calaca 1 (480MW) in Batangas; Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. (460 MW) in Quezon; and the GN Power coal plant (300 MW).

Team Energy, which operates the 1,200 MW Sual power facility, said Unit 1 went offline at 11:58 a.m. on Monday due to a “boiler tube leak.”

As of 1:30 p.m., GN Power was already back online, Zaldariaga said.

The remaining plants were seen to have resumed normal operations by Monday night. As such, Meralco expects a normal power situation by today, Tuesday.

Still, Meralco and the Department of Energy (DOE) closely monitored the situation and began preparations to avert possible power outage.

Meralco said it secured commitment from 120 companies to participate in the Interruptible Load Program program. Zaldariaga said these companies were ready to deload 321 MW throughout the day.

The DOE, meanwhile, said the Malaya 2 power-generating plant was activated to help ease the tight power-supply situation. Also, the agency said the Visayas could share what excess power it has to Luzon should this be needed.