DOE: Red alerts may occur next week if situation does not improve

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The Department of Energy (DOE) says that red alerts may occur next week should power plants are not able to immediately reconnect to the grid, and if weather conditions do not improve.

In a press briefing yesterday, the energy department said that Typhoon Aghon forced the Ilijan power plant to shut down after it disconnected and moved its Floating Storage Unit (FSU). Additionally, Pagbilao Units 1 and 2, with a combined capacity of 764 megawatts (MW), and Unit 3, with a capacity of 335 MW, also had to shut down.

“We just like also to mention that the task force on energy resiliency has been monitoring the developments even before the touchdown of the typhoon. We have not only monitored the grid but also the off-grid areas,” said DOE Undersecretary Felix Fuentebella.

The typhoon caused disruptions in the operations of key power facilities, including 335 MW Masinloc 3, 445 MW San Buenaventura Power facility, 20.8 MW Botocan facility, and the 180 MW Kalayaan Unit 4.

Currently, the Ilijan/Linseed floating storage unit (FSU) is in the process of berthing and attachment. Securing the loading arms for berthing and attachment will require approximately 2 to 3 hours before regasification resumes.

However, because of Ilijan’s shutdown, it will need to undergo a cold start lasting 14 to 16 hours before it can fully resume normal operations.

Additionally, Fuentebella said that the department has been closely monitoring the situation as the plants are functioning and the issue is more on the lines.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla mentioned that the diesel plants had been providing the needed power for the past weeks during the red and yellow alerts since last month.

Addressing concerns over diesel plants considering halting operations due to pending Ancillary Services Procurement Agreements (ASPAs) with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Lotilla emphasized that the matter had been submitted to the ERC and that the department is refraining from preempting the commission’s decision.

“We understand that they’re trying to balance affordability with the need to maintain energy security and so we look forward to a solution to this particular problem,” said Sec. Lotilla.

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