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DOE: Luzon power still unstable

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 06:00 AM July 31, 2016

THE POWER supply in Luzon has remained unstable due to continued outages of major energy facilities which reduced the available supply of electricity by almost 3,000 megawatts, the Department of Energy (DOE) said yesterday.

Luzon was thus placed on “red alert” status from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. yesterday, which meant that the grid had no power reserves.

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As of 6 a.m. Saturday, the available capacity in the Luzon grid stood at 8,672 MW, while peak demand was projected to be 8,209 MW, data from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) showed.

According to the DOE, the huge reduction in power supply amounting  to 2,946 MW was brought about by the outages of the 647-MW Sual coal-fired power plant Unit 2; the 300-MW Calaca coal-fired power plant Unit 2; the 280-MW Malaya thermal power plant Unit 2;  the 302-MW GN coal-fired power plant Unit 1;  the 382-MW Pagbilao coal-fired power plant Unit 2; the 360-MW Kalayaan Units 3 and 4 due to low water elevation; and the maintenance of the 245-MW South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. Units 1 and 2.

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The 180-MW Kalayaan Unit 2 and the 250-MW Sta. Rita natural gas power plant Unit 2 are on planned maintenance shutdown while Malaya Unit 1 is operating on a limited capacity at 135 MW.

“The DOE together with the entire power industry, remains keen on ensuring the availability of the power supply and meeting the demand in support of the country’s economic growth… To maintain the integrity of the grid, the NGCP implemented a manual load dropping at 10:35 a.m. outside the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) franchise, accounting for 38 MW,” the DOE said in a statement.

 Use own generators

“In response, Meralco activated its interruptible load program. A total of 281.19 MW have been committed as of 9:15 a.m. by the 139 Interruptible Load Program (ILP) participants, which started deloading at 10:01 a.m.,” it said.

Under the ILP, participating customers would allow distribution utilities to cut off or reduce the power supplied them, particularly during peak periods of the day or during emergency situations. During these hours, “de-loaded” customers should use their own generators. In turn, these customers would be compensated for the higher costs they incur when they run their generators.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, in a letter dated July 29, asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to investigate whether the power outages were caused by anticompetitive behavior by the industry players.

The DOE has initiated the formation of technical audit teams which will validate the figures submitted by power generating companies and distribution utilities. The technical audit teams aim to acquire accurate data for the delivery of quality, reliable, secure and affordable supply of energy.

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Cusi earlier vowed to ensure a stable and reliable supply of electricity under President Duterte’s administration, warning that  economic growth and jobs creation would be stunted if the energy supply was not reliable and adequate to support a developing country like the Philippines.

TOPICS: Department of Energy, DOE, Electricity, Energy Facilities, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, technology
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