Mindanao power grid remains on ‘red alert’

by Alena Mae S. Flores –  April 20, 2016 at 11:10 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Mindanao power grid remains on red alert amid soaring temperature, even as a unit of Therma South Inc.’s 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Davao City resumed operation.

“Mindanao is still on red alert as per NGCP [National Grid Corp. of the Philippines] advisory but situation has improved since Therma South’s Unit 1 is back online last Saturday (April 17), earlier than expected,” Energy Department director Irma Exconde said.

Unit 1 of Aboitiz Power Corp.’s Therma South suffered a boiler tube leak problem in early April that needed to be repaired for at least two weeks. The coal plant is located in Barangay Binugao, Toril District, Davao City and Barangay Inayawan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

Exconde said power supply in Mindanao remained in deficit because of the soaring temperature. The El Niño weather phenomenon affected Mindanao’s power supply, particularly the Agus-Pulangi hydro power plants due to low water level.

“Yes, demand is still forecasted to be higher than available supply,” she said.

The official said the agency was hoping that committed power plants for Mindanao would go online as expected.

“We hope that Sarangani [105 MW] will be able to fulfill their target of end April for the commercial operation, SMC [San Miguel Corp.’s first 150 MW to 300 MW] and FDC [Filinvest Development Corp.’s 405 MW],” Exconde said.

National Grid forecasted a supply deficit of 28 MW for Mindanao on Wednesday with demand at 1,486 MW and available capacity at 1,458 MW.

“The coming back online of TSI Unit 1 provided much ease, especially to major load users such as Davao City. We just hope no other major power plant goes offline because that will again send many areas to rotating brownout due to absence of reserves,” Romeo Montenegro,  director for investments promotion, international relations and public affairs office of the Mindanao Development Authority, said.

Based on the latest power grid situation outlook on Wednesday, Luzon was expected to have a peak demand of 9,444 MW against system capacity of 10,691 MW or reserves of 1,247 MW.

Visayas is also forecast to have reserves of about 299 MW with system capacity at 2,131 MW and demand at 1,832 MW.