Luzon’s power reserves turn thin

by Alena Mae S. Flores – June 13, 2016 at 11:45 pm

from Manila Standard Today

Power supply in Luzon was declared under a ‘yellow alert’ Monday, after more than 1,000 megawatts of capacity went offline, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said.

National Grid said in an advisory the Luzon grid went on yellow alert from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as capacity reached only 9,649 MW, while demand was at 9,247 MW.

“Luzon grid is on yellow alert due to insufficient contingency reserves brought about by a lack of power supply,” National Grid said.

Manila Electric Co. senior vice president and head for utility Lawrence Fernandez said power reserves fell below the 647-MW level required to maintain the normal status.

Fernandez said this was because of the forced outages of several large plants over the weekend such as Calaca, GN Power, Quezon Power and Sual. He said only GN Power was back on line Monday.

“We have begun advising ILP [interruptible load program] participants to prepare for possible activation,” Fernandez said.

ILP participants can stop withdrawing power from the grid by using their generating sets to free up demand.

Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada confirmed that more than 1,000 MW of capacity went offline, prompting the government to activate the Malaya diesel power plant.

Monsada lauded moves by the Energy Regulatory Commission to monitor power outages.

“To have the generators to be more responsible because now they have 30 days, 60 days allowance. They [ERC] are planning solutions for power outages such as close monitoring, importing requirements,” Monsada said.

She said the department would also monitor the maintenance shutdown of the power plants in the second half of the year.