Energy dep't hopes for zero brownouts until May 16

EXACTLY a week before elections, the Department of Energy (DOE) is on track in achieving zero power disruption one week before and after May 9 polls.

Energy department secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada said that they are closely monitoring and coordinating with all the industry players in the power sector from generation and transmission to distribution.

"The department (DOE) per se cannot assure that no power interruptions will occur on the election day as we are not the operator that is why what we are doing is we requested the power operators to do all means and mitigations to achieve zero disruption one week before and after May 9 polls," she said.

She emphasized that all the power players has showed their commitment in doing their part on the elections.

"We got the commitment of the industry players in assuring that enough supply will be secured during the critical election period. We are nearing completion of preparations to ensure the readiness of the systems and power stakeholders who have roles to play on May 9," Monsada said.

She explained that they asked the power generators, power plant operators to avoid implementing preventive maintenance shutdown or any corrective measures a week before and after the Election Day.

Monsada added that the Power Task Force on Election 2016 has been doing rounds of visit and inspection nationwide to secure the power supply.

"We have a task force in the energy sector, we are doing rounds to meet all involved players in the power sector in order to assess and guide them on where are they in terms of its preparations. For instance, a plant, we check if a back-up facility is available and if the generator can suffice the demand in cases of uncontrolled circumstances that will result to power interruptions," she said.

Demand for power on elections, as projected by DOE, is expected to be lower as the polls are set and declared a special non-working holiday, thus lesser power consumption. Monsada also cited that they are looking closely on the power connections and loads in all voting centers as it is considered critical area for clean elections.

Meanwhile, in a general membership meeting of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (DCCCII) last Friday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, top executives and representatives from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Davao Light and Power, Co. (DLPC) and Therma South Inc. (TSI) as a power generator firm unanimously projected that no power interruptions will occur during elections if power situation will remain normal considering no transmission facilities will be bombed and toppled.

Engineer Rodger S. Velasco, Vice President-Engineering Group presented during the meeting that for Davao City, expected power supply on May 9 will reach a total of 443 megawatts (MW), enough to meet the projected power demand at 371 MW.

"Based on our projection we will have sufficient power supply premised on the following: (a) all generation plants that we have contracted are operating normally (b) Allocation from NPC PSALM shall have improved by then as the rain comes based on PAGASA forecast," DLPC said.

DOE has already taken a measure of managing maintenance schedules of NGCP's Grid Operating and Maintenance Program that no maintenance outages will be done during Elections. The Hydroelectric Power Plants in Mindanao was also being managed properly to achieve full capacity operations.
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