Luzon grid on yellow alert

THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines placed the entire Luzon grid on “Yellow Alert” amid the dangers of a dipping supply and spiked demand this summer.

The NGCP issued the advisory Monday morning, April 10, due to forced outages in the Pagbilao 2 and blackouts affected by the earthquake which successively jolted the island cluster the past weeks.

NGCP identified areas affected by the sporadic quakes in Mindoro and Batangas as the power centers in San Lorenzo 50 and 60, San Gabriel, Avion 2, Ilijan Block B and Calaca 2.

Accordingly, yellow alert is implemented when the reserve energy is not sufficient.

The NGCP reported an insufficient Operating Reserve from 1000H to 1600H which was caused by the jolts and advised consumers to adopt energy saving measures.

Melba Batario of the NGCP said available capacity of the Luzon grid is pegged at 9515 megawatts (MW) on the verge of dwindling to the expected peak demand set at 8926MW.

Batario said outages cannot be determined except for scheduled maintenance activities urging energy conservation measures.

Batario said if it does not improve, the situation might progress to red alert signifying a zero contingency reserve leading to generation deficiency resulting to automatic load dropping.

The NGCP representative said causes of power interruption are due to insufficient generation, unscheduled shutdown of generation, transmission or distribution, and scheduled shutdown of transmission and distribution system connected to customers.

Batario added transmission system problems may be because of weather disturbance, accident, vegetation, animal and foreign object, failure of protection system and human error.

The Luzon grid houses the largest power plants in the country including Sual and the Masinlcoc plants.

Luzon grid’s capacity for additional power is very small especially when one of the large plants back down resulting to rotating outages, fortifying the need to have additional sources of energy in a bid to bring down electricity rates.

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