NGCP declares ‘yellow alert’ over tight supply in Luzon

By Alena Mae S. Flores – March 05, 2019

Grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines declared a “yellow alert” for the Luzon grid for several hours Tuesday following the shutdown of several power plants and an increase in power demand.

NGCP issued an advisory that the Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert  from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 5 because of the thin power reserves.  A yellow alert means there is a need for additional reserves to ensure the stability of the grid.

Available power generation capacity was placed at 10,115 megawatts Tuesday, compared to the peak demand of  9,491 MW.

“Luzon grid is on yellow alert due to the unexpected shutdown and limited generation of some power plants and high power demand,” NGCP said.

Ten power plants went offline, depriving the Luzon grid of more than 2,000 MW of supply.  These included the 647-MW Sual 2 and 420-MW Pagbilao 3 plants.

Three power facilities also operated below their capacity levels.

The yellow alert advisory came a day after the Energy Department assured the public that the power supply would be stable during the dry months until June even as output from the hydro plants were expected to be reduced because of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said preparations were ongoing to ensure the adequate supply during the dry months.

“We want to make sure there is no impact of El Niño on the power supply,” Fuentebella said.

Fuentebella said the DoE was making sure that the maintenance schedule of power plants was synchronized with the grid to prevent forced outages.

He said the agency was also discussing with generators the output of hydropower plants and the impact of the El Niño.

Fuentebella urged consumers to implement demand side management and energy efficiency campaign measures.

“We are also making preparations for any unforeseen incidents like an unscheduled outage. We also have the interruptible load program which we are preparing for,” he said.