NGCP: Brownouts due to low energy supply

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Saturday, July 19, 2014


MEXICO, Pampanga -- The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Central Luzon office here said Saturday that the long periods of power interruption and recurring brownouts in the province were due to low energy supply and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun).

"Currently, the supply and demand (load) is not balanced. In order to maintain the system during real-time dispatch, the supply and load should be on the same level," said Ernest Vidal, Regional Corporate Communications officer of NGCP.

The NGCP said that the region has an expected capacity of 4,200 megawatts with a projected peak demand of 4,760 megawatts. Since the total reserve is lower than the capacity of the supply plants, power interruptions were implemented to remedy the situation.

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"The reason, first and foremost, has to do with the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda in Southern Luzon which affected our transmission lines there. Since we’re on the same grid, both North Luzon and Central Luzon were not spared," relayed Vidal, as to why the province is currently experiencing deficiencies in power generation.

Vidal also briefly explained the process of energy generation and distribution in the region.

"On the one hand, there are what are known as independent power plants (IPPs) which are responsible in producing the power through renewable or non-renewable resources, and on the other hand, the distribution utilities (DUs) such as Pampanga Electric Cooperatives, San Fernando Electric Light and Power Company and Angeles Electric Corporation which ensure the proper allocation of the power supply," said Vidal, adding that the NGCP serves as the only functional transmission utility in the country which connects the IPPs and DUs.

The faulty transmission lines in Southern Luzon consequently affected the flow of power to neighboring regions such as North Luzon and Central Luzon.

The NGCP said that their officials are still looking into how the agency can solve the problems of low energy supply.

In the meantime, the province will still have to conserve energy and prepare for possible power interruptions in the next few days.

Need to understand

Meanwhile, Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. president Jim Jimenez disclosed yesterday that the group has invited NGCP officials to clarify the power situation in Pampanga.

“We have invited the NGCP to clarify and for us to understand the recurring and surprising long brownouts we have been experiencing. This has to be made clear so we can help them disseminate important information much that many businesses and consumers are affected and have been irritated. We also need to understand why this is happening when the government has already foreseen the alleged shortage of power supply years ago, which is happening now. We hope that the NGCP will favor our invitation,” Jimenez told Sun.Star Pampanga.

At press time, the webpage of the Department of Energy showed that much of the power in Pampanga and Northern Luzon has been restored, with full restoration expected by July 22. (Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay/With JTD/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 20, 2014.

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