THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) yesterday said power supply in the Luzon grid has stabilized and its status is already normal as of Feb. 17. The company hopes the situation in the Visayas grid will be the same next week.

A news release sent to Sun.Star Cebu by NGCP corporate communications manager Belinda Sales Canlas said that Visayas has an available capacity of 1,098 megawatts (mw) but the peak demand is 1,199 mw or a shortage of 101 mw.

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Canlas said the shutdown of power plants, the increase in power demand and the dry weather brought about by the weather phenomenon El Niño have limited the available capacity or supply in the power system.

“As the system operator, NGCP’s main responsibilities are to transmit high-voltage power from generators to distributors and to operate and maintain any power generation and distribution facilities,” Canlas said.

She said that in Visayas and Mindanao, electricity generated by power plants continues to be low and may not be enough to meet the demand of power grid users.

However, the other day, Director Antonio Labios of the Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas said that if supply from Unit I, an 82-mw power plant of the Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC), reaches its full potential, power supply in Cebu will be normalized.

CEDC is constructing three 82-mw power plants. One (Unit I) will be fully operational by March, another one (Unit 2) by June 2010 and the third one (Unit 3) by December.

A few days ago, the power shortage was only 40 mw in the morning peak. Sporadic brownouts could have been avoided with the two gas turbines in the City of Naga, Cebu operated by SPC Power Corp.

But Labios said DOE has no jurisdiction over the gas turbines because these were privatized when SPC Power bought these last Jan. 29 from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management, a government corporation that manages the properties of the National Power Corp. (EOB)