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Luzon grid on ‘yellow alert’ anew

By Myrna Velasco
Insufficient power reserves placed anew the Luzon grid on “yellow alert condition” on Monday –roughly a month prior to the mid-term elections on May 13 this year.

According to an advisory sent to relevant stakeholders by system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), yellow alert or reserve-scant situation in the grid was raised on April 1, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For the biggest power grid in the country to plunge into yellow alert, it means that its second level of reserves could no longer be fully served by available capacity in the power system.

And while this circumstance may not necessarily result in rolling brownouts, consumers would still need to worry because this could mean higher electricity rates that they will eventually experience in their power bills.

Data culled from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) showed that demand for Luzon grid was anticipated to reach as high as 9,792.2 megawatts on Monday; while load-weighted average price (LWAP) in the spot market was seen peaking at P34 per kilowatt hour at 2 p.m.

Conversely, NGCP indicated that Monday’s demand was seen to have peaked at 10,178 megawatts (MW); and gross reserve was placed at 1,381 MW. System demand, which infers the capacity availability of power plants, was at 11,559 MW.

This latest episode of slumped reserve situation in the grid was due to the fresh round of forced outages in power plants – including the unit 2 of Masinloc coal-fired plant; unit 1 of Pagbilao coal-fired power plant; and unit 1 of the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) plant.

Even the generating unit 2 of government-run Malaya thermal power plant was also reported to be on unscheduled outage on Monday.

In cases of yellow alerts or in extreme supply deficiency because of plant outages, big-ticket customers such as commercial establishments and industries are encouraged to switch on their own generating sets and seek compensation under the interruptible load program (ILP) instituted for the industry.

Essentially, it is just the start of full summer months, hence, relevant government agencies – primarily the Department of Energy (DOE) – would need to assure that power supply would really be sufficient during election time – from the start of voting until the time that tabulation and transmission of results would have been completed.

The DOE said it has contingency measures in case of power interruptions during the polling season – and that includes the deployment of generator sets in affected areas.

Luzon grid on ‘yellow alert’ anew Luzon grid on ‘yellow alert’ anew Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 1:52:00 PM Rating: 5

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