Tight power supply is expected this summer, with grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) predicting that demand this year will surpass that of the previous summer.
The NGCP forecast demand to peak at 8,654 megawatts in May, surpassing the 8,305 MW recorded in the same period last year. Available capacity in May this year, seen at 9,689 MW, is expected to still accommodate demand.
For April, the highest demand is expected at 8,504 MW, with available capacity at 9,571.
“Supply will be tight, but NGCP will be ready to transmit whatever power is available to the grid,” Cynthia Perez-Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson, said.
In Luzon, three power plant units will be shut down as scheduled, while one other is expected to experience forced outage from March to May. In the Visayas, two will be on scheduled shutdown and one on forced outage.
The high voltage direct current (HVDC) line linking Luzon (Naga City) and Visayas (Leyte island) will also be closed for maintenance from April 9 to 21.
NGCP said that even with the scheduled maintenance work, the grid is secure and will be able to handle the load.
Back-up lines are fully operational and ready to deliver available power from the generators, it added.
In Mindanao, one power plant is set for shutdown and two will be on forced outage during the summer months.
To mitigate grid issues related to summer demand, the grid operator conducted early in the year an audit of substation equipment and transmission lines all over the country.
“Since February, major lines and equipment have been inspected and scanned for defects or abnormalities, which were subsequently evaluated and corrected. These efforts are part of NGCP’s commitment to implement transmission projects that will improve the reliability of the grid,” Alabanza said.
Also in preparation for the summer months, NGCP warns the public of the risks of breaching right-of-way (ROW) clearances near transmission lines and towers.