Luzon, Visayas grids on red alert as supply drops

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star
Luzon, Visayas grids on red alert as supply drops
This photo shows a structure of the Luzon grid.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Luzon grid was placed on red alert yesterday after power supply fell below consumer demand due to reduced capacities of major power plants, which have been on forced outages and running under  limited operations.

It was the seventh time this year that the Luzon grid was placed on red alert.

Meanwhile, the Visayas grid was also placed under red and yellow alerts due to insufficient supply for certain periods.

In an advisory issued at 1:50 p.m. yesterday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the Luzon grid was on red alert from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The NGCP estimated the grid’s available power capacity at 13,531 megawatts, which was lower by 66 MW than the peak demand of 13,597 in the morning.

By the afternoon, the grid’s available capacity was 13,441 MW, while demand was 13,438.

At least 18 power plants were on forced outage in the grid, including a major plant, according to the NGCP.

Three others, including two major ones, were running on derated capacities.

A red alert status is issued when power supply is insufficient to meet consumer demand as well as the transmission grid’s regulating requirement.

The NGCP also raised a yellow alert on the Luzon grid from noon to 1 p.m., 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight.

A yellow alert means that the grid’s current operating power supply margin is insufficient to meet its contingency requirement.

In a statement, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said it advised participants of its interruptible load program (ILP) of their deloading commitments, to ease and manage power demand in Luzon after the grid was placed under red alert.

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said some of Meralco’s big-load customers under the ILP committed to deload more than 300 MW, to ease demand in the Luzon grid.

“We are also ready in the event the implementation of manual load dropping or rotating power interruptions will be needed, as part of our responsibility to manage the system,” Zaldarriaga said.

Visayas grid status

Meanwhile, the Visayas grid was on red alert from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on yellow alert for three  hours: from noon to 2 p.m., 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. and to 11 p.m.

The grid’s available capacity was 2,217 MW while its peak demand was around 2,657 MW. Earlier in the day, the grid had a capacity of 2,588 while demand was 2,537 MW.

The NGCP said around 21 power plants have been on forced outages while three others were running on derated capacities in the Visayas grid, resulting in the unavailability of 553.1 MW.

To date, the Luzon and Visayas grids have been placed under red alert for seven and eight days, respectively, data from the NGCP showed.

Records showed that for this year, the NGCP has raised the yellow alert on the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids for a total of 20, 22 and two days, respectively.

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