Luzon power supply back to normal

by Alena Mae S. Flores – April 17, 2017 at 08:01 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Department on Monday said power supply in Luzon has returned to normal with the entry of the Malaya thermal power plant in Rizal and some natural gas plants into the grid.

“We  are no longer on yellow alert because there is enough supply. The plants have started to go online,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said in a radio interview.

Fuentebella said Luzon had an available power supply of 10,797 megawatts as of Monday, reflecting adequate reserves against demand of about 8,700 MW to 9,000 MW.

He said power plants that came online included Malaya 1, 150 MW; Ilijan, 600 MW; Sta. Rita, 250 MW; and San Lorenzo, 250 MW.

Supply from the natural gas plants in Batangas were disrupted after the April 8 earthquake, resulting in a loss of over 1,000 MW from the Luzon grid.

“We are exerting all efforts to enable Unit 50 (of San Lorenzo), San Gabriel, and Avion to export their outputs within the coming days. Our site management team and our contractors have been tirelessly working since last week including through the Holy Week break,” First Gen Corp. vice president Jerome Cainglet said.

First Gen owns the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita, 500-MW San Lorenzo, 414-MW San Gabriel and 10- MW Avion natural gas plants.

First Gen last week said while the power plants did not suffer damage from the earthquake, it destroyed various components of the San Lorenzo switchyard.

Since the San Lorenzo switchyard connects the San Lorenzo, San Gabriel and Avion power plants to the transmission lines of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, no power supply from these plants were exported to the grid.

First Gen said the company, along with Siemens, the operations and maintenance contractor of the San Lorenzo and San Gabriel plants, was working on an interim solution to restore the operability of the switchyard and enable the operation of the power plants.

More electric cooperatives, meanwhile, reduced their systems losses last year, resulting in a record low average of 10.99 percent, down 0.13 percent from the 11.12 percent average they posted in 2015, according to the National Electrification Administration.

NEA said in a statement 42 electric cooperatives registered a single-digit system loss average in 2016, while 53 others stayed within the 13 percent cap set by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the reduction in the system loss was one of the major policy thrusts of the agency.

Significant reductions in systems losses allow the electric cooperatives to become operationally efficient and be of better service to their member-consumers.

“Electric cooperatives must continue to implement measures that would keep their system loss average at the minimum to ease the burden on their consumers who are forced to shoulder it,” Masongsong said.