Luzon on red-alert status as power supply drops

by Lenie LecturaJuly 29, 2016

from Business Mirror

The Luzon grid was placed on red alert on Friday mainly due to low power contingency reserves brought about by insufficient power supply.

For the past two days the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert. The grid operator raised the alarm to a red alert on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m.

A yellow alert means thin power reserves. It is issued when contingency reserve is less than the capacity of the largest synchronized unit of the grid. In Luzon this is equivalent to 647megawatts (MW), or one unit of the Sual power plant.

Power outages are likely to occur during a red alert.

As of press time, the country’s largest power-distribution firm has yet to report any power-outage incidents in its franchise area. To help avert power outage, participants of its Interruptible Load Program (ILP) were advised to activate starting 1:01 p.m.

“We had commitments from 197 ILP participants, equivalent to a deloading capacity of 356.11 MW,” Meralco Utility Economics Head Lawrence Fernandez said.

Based on NGCP data, Luzon was placed on yellow alert on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; red alert from 2 to 4 p.m.; yellow alert from 5 to 6 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m.

Meralco was advised that Pagbilao Plant Unit 2 (382 MW) went on forced outage at 9:39 a.m.

Pagbilao plant has been on maintenance outage since May 17. It had tried to resume operations on Tuesday night, but encountered trouble while trying to come back online. It went back online on Thursday.

Last Tuesday there was a sudden outage of Calaca 2, aggravated by the limited output of Ilijan B and GN Power 2. The following day Calaca 2 was still out, while Sual 2 was derated from 647 MW to 250 MW.

Last Thursday Meralco said Sual 2 went on emergency shutdown late Wednesday night, while Calaca 2 was still out.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) requested the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to look into the recurring yellow and red alert issued within the Luzon grid.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi wants to know from the ERC if anticompetitive behavior from industry players occurred that led to insufficient power supply.

The DOE is, likewise, closely monitoring the power plants that went through forced outage, accounting for a total of 1,451 MW.

The DOE earlier stated that it would create technical audit teams for generation companies and distribution utilities to assess the reliability of the entire power industry.