NGCP declares ‘red alert’ amid high power demand

By Alena Mae S. Flores – June 07, 2019 at 08:00 pm

Grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines placed Luzon grid under “red alert” for several hours Friday because of the insufficient generating capacity amid high demand.

NGCP announced that the grid was placed on red alert from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. while the yellow alert was raised from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 7.

NGCP said the available capacity for Luzon was placed at 11,376 megawatts versus a peak demand of 11,237 MW.

The company said manual load dropping or rotating brownouts would be implemented in selected areas including the franchise area of Manila Electric Co. at different hours of the day affected by the red alert to maintain the integrity of the power system.

NGCP, however, said the MLD schedule could be canceled if system condition improved such as when actual demand fell below projections.

“NGCP encourages everyone to exercise prudence in using electricity,” it said.

Data showed that while there was a series of yellow and red alerts, the Luzon grid did not reach its projected peak demand of 11,400 MW. The Luzon grid’s demand peaked at 11,245 MW on May 15.

This was the 10th red alert status and the 26th yellow alert status for the Luzon grid since January.

The Energy Department said seven power plants were on forced outages with an installed capacity of 1,203 MW on Friday due to various reasons.

These plants are SEM-Calaca Power Corp.’s Calaca unit 2 (300 MW), SMC Consolidated Power Corp.’s Limay coal plant unit 4 (150 MW), GN Power Mariveles coal plant’s Limay unit 2 (150 MW), AP Renewables Inc.’s Makban geothermal unit 1 (63MW) and Tiwi geothermal unit 1 (60 MW) and South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.’s unit 2 (135 MW).

Nine power plants, mostly hydro, were also operating on a derated or below capacity status while some power plants were on maintenance shutdown.

NGCP earlier said power supply was expected to normalize in September once the hydropower plants went back online during the rainy season and once other power plants completed their maintenance operations.