DOE orders power firms to ensure stable electricity as COVID-19 vaccines arrive

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has tasked power distributors and generators to ensure the stable supply of electricity with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines ahead of the summer months.

In an advisory, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi directed power firms to make sure that cold storage facilities, where the vaccines would be brought, as well as healthcare facilities are continually energized “through the provision of back-up generating sets and/or distribution system reconfiguration.”

He also urged that emergency response protocols and business continuity plans be continuously updated to be responsive, so that the cold storage and healthcare facilities remain prioritized in case of power outages.

The secretary likewise wants enough contracted capacities for energy to address possible increase in demand requirements and intensified vegetation management programs to eliminate or at least minimize power interruptions.

Energy Usec. Emmanuel Juaneza, meanwhile, urged Visayas and Mindanao-based power generators to coordinate their maintenance shutdowns, especially with the vaccines’ arrival, targeted for within the first quarter.

“There is really a need to align maintenance schedules and activities to assure our VisMin consumers of supply stability. As the need in the power supply arises, we cannot afford to have disruptions especially in the facilities that will store the vaccines,” Juaneza said.

Last month, the DOE urged Luzon-based power generators to align their maintenance shutdown schedules.

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