DESPITE the scarcity of rain, the power supply gap in Mindanao continues to diminish as peak demand drops.

Latest figures from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines showed that the deficiency in the power supply of Mindanao was only at 580 megawatts (MW), lower than the 600 MW shortfall last Monday.

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The decrease in the supply gap is due to the decrease in peak demand from more than 1,470 MW to its present peak demand of only 1,386 MW.

The reason for the supply gap remains to be the low water levels at Lanao Lake brought about by the El Nino phenomenon, lowering the available capacities from the grid's main power sources -- National Power Corporation's hydro power plants Agus and Pulangi.

Mindanao produces only 806 MW of power while its peak demand reaches 1,386 MW, creating a supply gap of 580 MW.

In the Visayas, a supply gap of 124 MW is created as its peak demand for the power supply is at 1,175 MW while generation is only at 1,062 MW.

It is only Luzon which has a power reserve of 773 MW as it produces 7,780 MW while its peak demand is only at 7,007 MW.

$200-M generators

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza said within 60 days, Mindanao will be 200 MW less of its power supply shortage.

In a radio interview, Mendoza said a proposal from Mindanao Electric Power Alliance (Mepa) has been submitted to Malacanang Tuesday afternoon.

The proposal says generators to be rented from Singapore, Australia, and the United States will cost up to 200 million dollars and will be delivered within 60 days, according to Mendoza.

The generators are set to be deployed to Zamboanga City.

At the moment, Mindanao is experiencing 700 MW of power shortage, resulting to rotating brownouts.

The power crisis was worsened by the El Nino phenomenon being experienced by the country.

Mendoza is projecting that the entire supply shortage will be mitigated by December.

Meanwhile, most electric companies in Mindanao have stopped implementing rotating brownouts except for South Cotabato, according to the South Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Socoteco 1).

Socoteco explained in a statement that the steady supply of electricity in South Cotabato still cannot be assured because the water level in Lake Lanao, the main source of hydro-electric energy in the region, remains to be low.

South Cotabato still experiences up to three hours of brownouts every day. (With Angela Casauay/Sunnex)