Power supply ‘stable’ in 1st 6 months of 2017

By Lenie Lectura – October 26, 2017

from Business Mirror

DESPITE incidence of power- plant shutdowns, calamities and civil strife, the country’s power system remained “stable” during the first six months of the year, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

“The Philippine power system remained generally stable from January to June 2017, despite the natural and man-made calamities experienced during the period, such as earthquakes in Batangas in Luzon and Leyte in the Visayas, and the Marawi siege in Mindanao, and events such as Malampaya gas maintenance shutdown in Luzon, continued occurrences of forced outages of generation and transmission facilities, which resulted to load-dropping incidents in the three major grids,” the agency said in its latest report.

Earthquakes in Mabini, Batangas, in  April, for instance, resulted in generator tripping with a total capacity of 1,570 megawatts (MW) in the Batangas area. The affected power plants were Avion Unit 2 (50 MW), San Lorenzo Units 1 and 2 (500 MW), Ilijan B (600 MW) and San Gabriel (420 MW). This incident triggered the issuance of yellow-alert notice on April 10 and 11 and red-alert notice on April 10.

An automatic load dropping (ALD) incident occurred in June due to the outage of the 300-MW Calaca coal-fired power plant (CFPP) Unit 2 and the 150-MW Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. CFPP Unit 2. The outage of the power plants was due to the actuation of Batangas System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) caused by the auto-tripping of Calaca-Amadeo 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line 2.

Moreover, the 647-MW Sual Unit 2 went on forced outage in the same month that triggered an ALD incident.

Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., likewise, conducted the Malampaya Gas Facility Scheduled Maintenance Shutdown (SMS) from January 28 to February 16.

These challenges, it claimed, were addressed by strong coordination among all energy stakeholders and additional power-generation capacities of 237 MW. Moreover, the relatively low demand during the period helped maintain the stability of the power system.

Total installed capacity in the country stood at 21,621 MW at end-June this year, of which, 19,537 MW were considered as dependable capacity. The numbers increased from 14,348 MW installed capacity and 13,109 MW of dependable capacity from the same period a year ago.

Coal remained the dominant fuel type at 35 percent, or 7,568 MW; followed by renewable energy at 32 percent, or 7,038 MW; oil-based at 17 percent, or 3,584 MW; and natural gas at 16 percent, or 3,431 MW.

In terms of power generation, coal remained the major source of electricity for Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao with a combined share of 49 percent, or 21,707 MW.

Newly operational plants from January to June 2017 are mainly coal- and solar-power plants that added 150 MW and 78 MW to the total installed capacity. Capacities, which will be coming in the pipeline, are largely coal-power projects with 4,465 MW combined and 9,903 MW indicative capacities.

In Luzon a total of 168.8-MW increase in the installed capacity was recorded during the period, mainly on account of new power plants. Also, a total of 4,142 MW of committed capacity and 16,113 indicative capacity is recorded as of June 30.

Luzon’s share to the country’s total electricity sales and consumption remained the largest at 75 percent. It reached new all-time high system peak demand at 10,054 MW, which occurred on May 9,  with corresponding 11,218 MW available capacity. This peak demand is 3.26 percent higher than the previous year at 9,726 MW.

In the Visayas the DOE said the power situation for the period was generally stable due to additional capacities, amid experienced tight supply conditions especially during the simultaneous outages of large coal and geothermal plants.

At end-June, a total of 68 MW of installed capacity was added to the grid composed of solar- and diesel-fired power plants. Committed and indicative capacities reached 408 MW and 3,504 MW, respectively.

Similar to Luzon, electricity consumption in the Visayas was also driven by the residential sector at 37 percent. The Visayas’s share to the country’s total electricity sales and consumption reached 12 percent.

The highest system peak demand in the Visayas at 1,934 MW occurred on June 2, with corresponding 2,558 MW available capacity. This peak demand is 2.11 percent higher than the previous year at 1,894 MW.

In Mindanao power situation was stable for the first six months of the year compared to the previous years due to sufficient available supply.

There were no additional power plants that went on commercial operation in Mindanao during the period, but there were a number of coal plants, which came online and currently undergoing testing. These are the 125-MW FDC Misamis coal unit 3, the 150-MW SMC Malita unit 3 and the 3×55-MW Minergy Balingasag coal units 1-3.

Mindanao’s share to the country’s total electricity sales and consumption stood at 13 percent. Its highest system peak demand, which  stood at 1,696 MW, occurred in April with corresponding 2,202 MW available capacity. This peak demand is 2.60 percent higher than the previous year at 1,653 MW.

To ensure the delivery of quality, reliable, affordable and secured electricity supply, the DOE initiated the issuance of policies for resiliency, conduct of performance assessment and technical audit for all energy facilities, and reactivated the Interagency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF), among others.

The IATFSEF is composed of the DOE, National Power Corp., National Electrification Administration, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc., Philippine National Police, Armed Forced of the Philippines and other industry players.

The group continues to push for the restoration of energy facilities in the province of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, which were damaged by military operations against the Maute group since May.