The country has enough supply to power through the elections on May 9, with or without unplanned outages from power plants, based on data from the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) – the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
Based on IEMOP’s latest simulation for the Luzon Grid, accounting for around 1,000 megawatts (MW) of unplanned outages, there still is enough power supply to meet demand from April to September. Coincident supply at peak demand is projected at 13,392MW, which can meet the peak demand of 12,387MW projected on May 27 for a supply margin of 1,005MW.
IEMOP projects a maximum supply of 13,404MW and a maximum demand of 12,004MW during the week of the elections, or from May 8-14. A thinning of power supply is projected afterwards, particularly in the last week of May.
In another scenario that accounted for new additional capacities like GNPower Dinginin’s 668MW Unit 2, along with the 1,000MW unplanned outages, the maximum supply during the week of the elections is projected at 13,444MW.
Back in January, Energy officials said they were expecting Dinginin Unit 2’s testing and commissioning – originally slated for next week – to add 400MW of capacity to the Luzon Grid as the elections draw near.
But even with IEMOP’s pronouncements, think-tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) maintained its earlier warning that rotating brownouts are still likely during and after the polls.
Based on ICSC’s monitoring, four coal generators – all in Calaca, Batangas – have exceeded the number of maximum unplanned outage days for the year.
Semirara Mining and Power Corporation’s (SMPC) 300MW Calaca Unit 1 has been offline for at least 118 days and still remains down as of Wednesday. Unit 2 of SMPC subsidiary Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation, with a capacity of 150MW, has also been down for 59 days. Meanwhile the 135MW Unit 1 of ACEN’s South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation plant has been offline for 33 days, while the 135MW Unit 2 has been unavailable for 86 days.