Luzon Grid power supply drops, rises

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The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) issued a red alert in the Luzon grid from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday but went back to yellow alert by 3:01 p.m. on the same day.

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Red alert means there is insufficient power supply in the grid, while yellow alert means reserve is less than the capacity of the largest running power plant (Sual at 647 megawatts).

According to NGCP data, available capacity at 1 p.m. on Friday was 9,771 MW (peak demand was 9, 455 MW) but the operating reserve was negative -44 MW. Operating reserves are below required levels with generation deficiency at 333 MW.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest distribution utility company, said it advised customers who signed up with its Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to start using their own generator sets to free up capacity in the grid.

“May we also advise that should the need arises, there is possibility that Manual Load Dropping (MLD) will take effect,” Meralco added.

MLD or rotational brownout means the customers will be experiencing power cut-offs in areas served at a specific time as a result of power supply shortage.

The Department of Energy (DOE) sought cooperation from the public to adopt energy efficiency and conservation initiatives of power supply in light of prolonged forced outages of some plants coinciding with other plants’ maintenance shutdowns.

“In facing this critical phase concerning our power supply, we are counting on the collective effort of everybody to practice energy efficiency and/or by adjusting the usage period of any electric appliances away from the peak hours (i.e., 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.), such as, ironing of clothes, unnecessary use of computers and even laundering of clothes using washing machine and drier, as any contribution really does matter,” Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said.

She added that energy consumers are urged to set the thermostat of air-conditioning units installed in their offices and households at 25˚Celsius.

Kalayaan units 3 and 4 (180 MW each) were put on emergency shutdown, Pagbilao 1 (382 MW) is undergoing maintenance, Malaya 1 (300 MW), Magat units 3 and 4 (95 MW each) and Botocon 2(10 MW) are also on shutdown.

Meanwhile Calaca 1 (200 MW) has been limited to 190 MW capacity and Calaca 2 (300 MW) to 220 MW.

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