DOE, NGCP to meet about summer power scenario


The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will be meeting this week for the updating of power supply-demand forecasts amid fears of another power shortage scenario in the second quarter.

Based on a Manila Bulletin report, the Yellow Alerts in Luzon earlier this week prompted the DOE to study the areas where forecasting has to be re-calibrated. The meeting also aims to explore contingency measures to be enforced, especially when power demand starts to rise.

The second quarter has the highest power demand due to the spike in cooling demands during the summer months. This year’s second quarter is notable since the 2022 automated national elections on May 9 falls well within the period. It was also in the second quarter last year when the Red Alert was raised, causing rotational brownouts in Luzon.

Energy Asec. Redentor Delola said the last power supply outlook drawn up by the DOE that was done with stakeholders was for the last quarter of 2021, wherein it was projected that there would be sufficient power supply for the first quarter of 2022.

He further emphasized that the scheduling of power plants’ preventive maintenance shutdowns will be reviewed, as the alignment may trigger “stress” or unwarranted capacity reductions in the system, especially when demand peaks.

This week’s Yellow Alerts in Luzon were triggered by the forced outages of four major plants and the de-rating of five others. Yellow Alerts usually happen in the summer months.

The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) had projected Luzon’s peak demand for 2021 to hit 12,387 megawatts this May, six percent higher than the 11,640MW actual peak demand last year.