Luzon grid bracing for power shortage this summer
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — If action plans are implemented, the projected power shortage this summer can be averted and tight supply can be expected later or in June, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

In a press briefing yesterday, Energy director Mario Marasigan said red alert warnings are possible in April and May.

The DOE said efforts would be implemented to ensure stable power supply throughout the year.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the DOE “has been working with the entire energy family since November for the necessary preparations, as well as development of harmonized solutions to ensure adequate supply all year round.”

Although supply is enough at present, the energy department said yellow and/or red alerts may be raised, depending on the volume of forced outages.

A forced outage refers to the sudden and unplanned breakdown of a power plant. 

Based on DOE’s demand forecast, this year’s peak demand is at 12,285 megawatts for Luzon, 2,519 MW for the Visayas and 2,278 MW for Mindanao. 

In the same briefing, DOE spokesperson and Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella urged stakeholders to cooperate, help monitor and respond to the power supply-and-demand situation. 

Fuentebella said existing contingency measures to prevent power disruptions would be continued by the power industry.

This includes the interruptible load program, which gives distribution utilities and power cooperatives the option to ask their consumers to reduce their demand or use generator sets to address their power needs.

The program, which is expected to ease demand on the grid, may be activated once the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines declares a red alert status. 

MARIO MARASIGAN
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