Thin reserves put Luzon grid on yellow alert again

By Lenie Lectura -October 16, 2019
from Business Mirror

An overhead power line used for electricity transmission and distribution across large distances is seen in Bulacan.

FOR the second consecutive day this month, the Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert due to thin power reserves.

A total of 4,897 megawatts (MW) of power capacity was unavailable, based on data provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday.

Of this, 2,944 MW was shaved off from the grid due to power plant forced outage. Also, 1,773 MW was unavailable due to lesser output provided by derated power plants. One power plant, with 180 MW of capacity, is still on scheduled shutdown.

The yellow alert took effect from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Last Monday, the grid was placed on yellow alert for six hours after 4,744 MW of power generating capacity was declared unavailable mainly due to unplanned outage of several power plants.

Contributing to Luzon’s thin power reserve is the four-day shutdown of the Malampaya gas facility, which supplies 40 percent of Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) requirement.

The gas facility fuels the following power plants: the 1,000-MW Santa Rita, the 500-MW San Lorenzo, the 1,200-MW Ilijan, the 97-MW Avion and the 414-MW San Gabriel

The operator of the gas facility said the four-day shutdown would allow engineering maintenance works at both onshore gas plant and offshore platform.

The completion of Malampaya maintenance work ends Tuesday. With this, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said 1,620 MW would be thrown back to the grid.

“We don’t see any yellow alert status for tomorrow because of the additional 1,620 MW from the natural gas plants. Once gas supply is available, Ilijan Blocks A and B (2×600 MW) and San Gabriel [420 MW] will be operational starting tomorrow [Wednesday].”

“For Sual Unit 1, as per their report on Monday, the goal is to complete the repair and “washing” of turbine by October  21 or 22.

“The preventive maintenance shutdown of Sual Unit 2, which is scheduled to start on October 19 and end on November 17 will be moved until Unit 1 is available and stable,” said Fuentebella.

Image Credits: Nonie Reyes