Luzon power supply thin, red and yellow alerts raised

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The Luzon grid was put on red alert yesterday after earthquakes that hit Batangas over the weekend caused power facilities to trip.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the island on yellow alert from 9 am to 4 pm due to insufficient operating power, with peak demand at 8, 926 megawatts and available capacity at 9, 515 MW.

However, the status was raised to red alert from 1 pm to 3 pm when demand increased to 9, 370 MW and available capacity at only 9, 300 MW.

Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said Luzon lost 2, 905 MW of power, 1, 570 MW of which were plants affected by the earthquake that shook Batangas and other parts of Metro Manila on Saturday.

The quake affected the 50-MW Avion 2, 500 MW San Lorenzo units 1 and 2, 420 MW San Gabriel and 600 MW Ilijan Block B.

Despite being affected by the earthquake, the 300 MW Calaca 2 and 150 MW SLPGC managed to reconnect to the grid.

First Gen Corp., which owns Avion, San Gabriel and San Lorenzo plants, said the plants were not damaged but various components of the San Lorenzo switchyard, which connects the plants to the Luzon grid, sustained damage.

“In cooperation with Siemens Power Operations Inc. (SPOI), the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) contractor for the San Lorenzo and San Gabriel power plants, the company is already working on an interim solution to restore operability of the San Lorenzo Switchyard and enable resumption of operation of the San Lorenzo, San Gabriel, and Avion power plants,” the power firm said.

Other power facilities with a total capacity of 918 MW were on planned outage, like the Angat Auxiliary Unit 4 (6 MW), Avion Unit 1 (50 MW), Calaca Unit 1 (300 MW), Magat Units 3 and 4 (180 MW), and Pagbilao Unit 1 (382 MW).

Plants on forced outage with a total capacity of 437 MW are Makban Unit 5 (55 MW) and Pagbilao Unit 2 (382 MW) due to high turbine vibration and boiler tube leak, respectively.

Fuentebella said DOE ordered the operation of Malaya units 1 and 2 Thermal Power Plant with a combined capacity of 450 MW.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has readied 130 MW from its interruptible load program (ILP), spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said.

“We are currently on the final crafting of a policy on energy resiliency planning and programs to guide our energy industry participants to strengthen their existing infrastructure facilities, incorporate mitigation improvements into the restoration of damaged infrastructures, and improve operational and maintenance standards and practices,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.

The Luzon grid is expected to be on yellow alert until Wednesday; when people are expected to leave Metro Manila for the Holy Week break and ease the demand on the grid.

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  1. Elmer B. Sambo

    There is a 650MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant at Pagbilao (EWC) ready for operation. What is missing is the transmission line to connect the power plant to the Luzon Grid. DOE and NGCP should provide priority for this project and bring all this talk about power shortage to rest. This LNG hub should also initiate the long term plan of putting up small LNG system at the various islands taking LNG supply from this Pagbilao hub to provide clean and reliable supply to these islands not connected to the grid.


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