Rotating power outage in Mindanao to continue

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Resumption of operations of coal-fired Steag State Power Inc. (SPI) remains unknown after its two 105-megawatt generating units suffered partial damage when Mindanao, the country’s second largest island group, was left without power for more than 10 hours last February 27.

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In a statement, SPI, however, assured the public that it is “currently fast tracking the completion of an on-going comprehensive inspection and assessment of the turbine-generators.”

“The inspection takes time as it covers all the essential parts of the turbine generating sets and other major power plant equipment,” it said.

SPI provides 20 percent of the country’s second largest island group’s requirements.

The Department of Energy (DOE) said the power outage in Mindanao was caused by the tripping that started when a breaker of the Agus 1 hydro-electric power plant in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur malfunctioned.

The problem in Agus 1 was not contained despite the automatic load dropping system in place, thus, it affected Agus 2 and other power plants within minutes.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, the operator of the country’s power grid, said the power outage transpired at about 3:53 a.m.

DOE on Friday said about 80-85 percent of power is back in Mindanao and the deficiency is not just because SPI is still down but due to the lack of capacity in Mindanao.

Petilla said the Agus 1 breaker that bogged down Thursday last week is now operating normally, thus, they are still determining why it stopped working.

He said a two to three-hour rotating brownout is still being experienced in the region but disclosed that before the outage there is already a one-hour rotating power outage in Mindanao because of below 50-mw capacity deficit.

He cited the rotating outage is not localized but is evenly distributed in the whole of Mindanao. PNA

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