DOE prioritizes ‘quick’ restoration of Luzon grid power supply post-Yellow Alert

DOE pushes for fast restoration of earthquake-affected power plants

After the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon transmission grid on Yellow Alert status on Friday for the second time, the Department of Energy (DOE) rushes to restore all lost power generation of over 1,364-MW. 

“Our priority now is to quickly restore power supply in the Luzon grid following the Yellow Alert status of the NGCP,” Department of Energy (DOE) Chief Alfonso Cusi said.

NGCP said the regional grid was put on yellow alert from 10 am to 4 pm for limited power output of some power plants, all of which went on forced and planned outages shortly after the power shutdown on Saturday, September 16.

Of the planned outages are the 382-MW Pagbilao Unit 2, 250-MW San Lorenzo Unit 1, and the 70-MW Limay B6, while the 302-MW GNPower Unit 1 and the 360-MW Kalayaan Units 3 & 4 went on forced shutdowns.

“We are in close coordination with our energy stakeholders to normalize the power situation in the Luzon grid. We also appeal to our dear consumers to use energy wisely and assist in stabilizing energy situation,” Cusi added.

The DOE also placed another set of planned reduction of supply last weekend (September 23 and 24) due to the Malampaya gas restriction.

The Luzon grid has been plagued with yellow alerts as far back as late August this year, triggering Manila Electric Co. (Meralco)’s obligations to provide additional generation capacity in the grid due to the gradual increase in power demand in its franchise areas.

Other than the thinning power reserves, a Yellow Alert placement also elicits Meralco’s automatic load dropping (ALD) scheme, which means some of its franchise households experience power interruptions as part of the power plants’ recovery from generation outages.

Meanwhile, independent network CitizenWatch earlier called for the addition of generating capacities in the Luzon grid, which even after installing 1,125-MW of new power supply to last from July 2016 to June 2017, the said grid remains vulnerable to interruptions and unexpected shutdowns.