Power interruptions may persist next week

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star
Power interruptions may persist next week
Stock image of electrical linemen.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Residents may experience more power interruptions next week if power supply does not normalize soon, following disruptions caused by Typhoon Aghon and the high heat indices.

“If the situation does not improve, [we will have] red alerts next week – if the plants affected by the typhoon would not come back online,” Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said at a virtual press briefing yesterday.

“As long as we do not know when the plants would come back then we will have red alerts next week,” Guevara added.

The DOE noted that some nine power plants in the Luzon grid were affected by Aghon, worsening the island region’s already strained power supply caused by previous plant outages.

In total, there are currently 23 power plants, both big and small, in Luzon that are on forced outage and running on derated capacity, according to the DOE.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) raised a red alert status on the Luzon grid yesterday as its available supply was insufficient to meet the projected consumer demand.

NGCP said almost 4,500 megawatts (MW) of power supply were unavailable to the Luzon grid because of the forced outage of 20 power plants and the derated capacities of three other plants.

The red alert status on Luzon was from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., based on NGCP’s advisory as of 1:30 p.m. yesterday.

The Luzon grid was also placed under yellow alert status for a total of four hours: noon to 1 p.m., 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Based on NGCP’s advisory, the available capacity in the Luzon grid was estimated at 11,810 MW while peak demand was projected around 11,785 MW.

“We would like to ask everyone’s cooperation to minimize the use of electricity, particularly in the Luzon grid. The typhoon caused substantial decrease in available supply in the grid at a time when the hydro power plants have not yet recovered from low water supply,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said yesterday.

“While we look forward to the power supply improving in the coming days, the department encourages everyone to conserve energy,” Lotilla added.

In a related development, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) for the Luzon region beginning 1:05 p.m. yesterday due to insufficient generation capacity in the grid.

The operations of the WESM shall remain suspended until issuance of a notice of market resumption by the ERC.

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