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Thin summer power supply forecasted

THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) warns of the impending thin power supply in the Luzon grid from April to August 2021.

This is due to multiple power plants on extended outage thereby providing limited power supply.

The NGCP is seeking intervention primarily from the government as well as relevant stakeholders so the disturbing thinning supply in this year’s summer months until August will not result in power interruptions or brownouts.

Such ‘intervention’ would be a matter better left under the command and authority of the Department of Energy (DOE), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and all other relevant agencies and in collaboration with the concerned stakeholders, such as the generation companies to act on.

NGCP stated that as the operator of the country’s power transmission system, the company “can only guarantee the dispatch of all and any available grid resources but cannot intervene on matters concerning power generation”

The transmission firm noted that despite the lower power demand because of the tighter movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall condition of the power system is still wobbly because of the simultaneous outages of power plants.

It further stressed that “technical limitations brought about by the pandemic such as delay in the delivery of materials or spare parts, temporary work stoppage and travel restrictions were stated as some of the reasons for the plant’s extended outages.”

NGCP is the one sorting out the yearly Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP) which tackles the scheduling of preventive maintenance of power plants.

It pointed out that if the plant outages will exacerbate, brownout conditions may still be a ‘worst case scenario’ that Luzon grid ---the country’s major grid could be plunged into and for consumers to suffer from.

NGCP explained that the Luzon grid needs around 4.0-percent of peak demand, or around 475 megawatts in regulating power to stabilize the grid and maintain power equivalent to the largest plant online of about 647MW as contingency in case of an emergency power plant shutdown

If the net operating margin falls below the prescribed numbers, NGCP will issue “grid alert notices,” which calls for rotating power interruptions to protect the integrity of the power grid.

NGCP appeals to the public “to use electricity efficiently and help prevent any occurrence of power interruptions due to the lean supply especially in the summer months.”