THE Mindanao grid will continue to experience brownouts this week after generation deficiency remains unresolved for more than two weeks now.

In a report, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said that so far only the Mindanao grid is suffering from generation deficiency.

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This is mainly because "most hydro-electric power plant units are still running with very limited capabilities due to the low water levels at reservoirs."

Mindanao as of Monday morning has posted a generation deficiency of 679 megawatts (MW) after peak demand reached 1,441 MW as against the available capacity of 762 MW.

While noting that the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) plant is an improvement from the previous 80 MW, it is not enough to end the power interruptions in the Mindanao grid.

WMPC, owned and operated by Alcantara Group of Companies, is now giving 90 MW to the grid.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes meantime said investors are dilly-dallying to enter in Mindanao and put up new power plants because of lower rates being implemented in the region.

“The power cost in Mindanao is cheapest that definitely is a disincentive....if the tariff is so low how can you expect investments to come in?” Reyes said.

He added that the renewable energy incentives do not cover the coal fired power plant and this is also one of the problems.

Reyes said compared to the Midnanao grid, it is even profitable to construct power facilities in Luzon and Visayas.

“The Mindanao rates (are) really, if you want to put up for example, coal plant, I think it will be difficult to make money at this point in time, with the present rate. You can put up a power plant in Luzon and make reasonable return with the present rate in Luzon, also in the Visayas.”

Jesus Alcordo, president of Cebu Energy, confirmed that the prime concern of the capitalist in putting up power plants in Mindanao is the rates.

“Well, first the investors would like to see some returns in their investments so rates have to be attractive," Alcordo said.

In contrary, Luzon and Visayas grids will not encounter any power supply problems Tuesday.

Luzon currently recorded 308 MW after the Sta. Rita unit 30, owned and operated by First Gas Power Corporation, started to be online on March 5, and running at 260 MW while Casecnan plant, operated by CAL Energy, with 70 MW has improved its capacity because of a higher water elevation.

Likewise, the Korean Electric Power Company’s Malaya Unit 2 came online as of 5:18 a.m. Tuesday and is contributing a total of 10 MW and is expected to give up to 270 by 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Luzon's peak demand hit 6,790 MW lower than the 7,098 MW available capacity.

Visayas grid still has a reserve of 58 MW after peak demand reached 1,181 MW as compared to the 1,239 MW available capacity.

“The Visayas islands will also have a better power supply status compared with last week where it now has a reserve of 58 MW,” according to NGCP.

The availability of reserve was due to the operations of Cebu Thermal Power Plant Unit 2, which is currently at 50 MW.

Cebu Energy Development Corporation (CEDC) Power Plant owned by Global Business Power is currently under test and commissioning. It now supplies the Visayas grid with 34 MW and may be generating 73 MW after 1 p.m. Tuesday. (MSN/Sunnex)