Expect recurrence of power alerts – DOE

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The public should expect power grids to be on yellow and red alerts from time to time due to tight supply, the Department of Energy (DOE) said yesterday as it pushed its call for energy efficiency.

For the third time in two weeks, the Luzon grid was again placed on yellow alert yesterday due to forced outages of several power plants.

A red alert was initially raised on the Visayas grid, but was lifted immediately. It was then placed on yellow alert from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“The yellow and red alerts that have been occurring these past few days are not going to disappear overnight,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

“But it is our responsibility together with the private sector to manage this transition. The energy efficiency and conservation part of it are important elements of this way forward,” he added.

He said the process is something that is going to last for some time, and the description of it would include the unpredictability and complexity of the transition period.

Lotilla said the country could not aspire to have the same level of energy consumption as that of developed countries.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid under yellow alert from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. yesterday as the available capacity stood at 11,572 megawatts while peak demand reached 10,548 MW.

The NGCP said four power plants went on forced outages, while three others were running on derated capacities.

These resulted in a total of 2,080 MW becoming unavailable to the grid, it said.

A yellow alert on the Visayas grid was raised as its available capacity stood at 2,179 MW and peak demand reached 2,019 MW.

A yellow alert means power reserves are not enough to cover the largest running generating unit at the time, but does not necessarily lead to outages.

Red alert is raised when the supply to demand balance worsens, which can lead to rotating power interruptions.

On Monday last week, the Luzon grid was placed on yellow and red alerts due to the forced outage of six power plants.

Three other plants operated on derated capacities only.

A yellow alert was again raised on the grid on Thursday as five power plants went on a forced outage.

Lotilla said the power sector sees a “difficult” first half of 2023. He said the difficult period would occur during hot months.

The DOE’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau projected 17 yellow and three red alerts to occur next year.

The red alerts are expected in the peak months of May and June as the grid capacity will fall below the required regulating reserve.

The yellow alerts are expected from various periods – between February and June, and from October to early December next year.


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