by Alena Mae S. Flores – September 22, 2017 at 07:01 pm
The Luzon grid was placed on a yellow alert status for several hours on Friday as power supply remains thin with the forced outage of several plants.
The Energy Department said in a statement it was increasing efforts to restore lost power capacities as major plants went on planned and forced outages.
The lost power capacities due to the plant outages reached 1,364 megawatts following the planned shutdown of Pagbilao Unit 2 (382 MW), San Lorenzo Unit 1 (250 MW), Limay B6 (70 MW); and the forced outage of the GNPower Unit 1 (302 MW) and the unavailability of both Kalayaan Units 3 and 4 (360 MW).
“Our priority now is to quickly restore power supply in the Luzon grid following the Yellow Alert status of the NGCP from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
Cusi assured consumers the power market was still normal despite the reduction of supply.
As of 1 p.m. Friday, power supply in Luzon stood at 10,091 MW with a projected demand of 9,469MW. The reserve level is at 622 MW.
For Saturday and Sunday, the department warned of another set of planned reduction of supply due to the gas restriction from the Malampaya field. The power situation may not be affected because of an anticipated reduction in electricity demand.
The department is closely monitoring power supply situation this weekend.
“We are in close coordination with our energy stakeholders to normalize the power situation in the Luzon grid. We also appeal to our dear consumers to use energy wisely and assist in stabilizing energy situation,” Cusi said.
Retailer Manila Electric Co. said it was advised by grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines of the yellow alert status.
NGCP declares a yellow alert when total reserves are less than the capacity of the largest plant online, which for the Luzon grid is 647 megawatts.
Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said the company tapped participants of the interruptible load program with a total capacity of 157.53 MW to run their generating sets and de-load from the grid if needed.
“Fortunately, at 3:30 PM (Friday), the power situation improved,” Zaldarraiga said.
Consumer group Citizen Watch earlier warned that Luzon faced tight power supply despite the completion of several generation plants, as robust economic activities led to higher demand especially during weekends.
Citizen Watch expressed concern over the series of ‘yellow alerts’ raised over Luzon in August to September despite the entry of new capacity.