Luzon Red Alerts may continue until June 7

NGCP substation

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) expects Red Alerts to go on in the Luzon Grid until June 7.

NGCP spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza said that Red Alerts are expected in Luzon from Wednesday-Friday (June 2-4) and again on June 7. No Red Alerts are expected from June 5-6 because demand is usually low on weekends. However, the grid may be placed on Yellow Alert this coming weekend and on June 8.

The grid operator has projected that the Luzon Grid will have 11,350 megawatts (MW) in available capacity for Wednesday. However, peak demand is expected to be at 11,481MW, which means a shortfall of 131MW is expected. Hence, the Red Alerts.

The Department of Energy had said on Monday that the Red Alerts would last for the “next couple of days” initially due to the breakdown of the GNPower Dinginin coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan. From around two hours only on Monday, however, the Red Alerts lasted practically the entire Tuesday, as Unit 2 of the GNPower Mariveles plant also had to suddenly shut down at dawn.

Various distribution utilities in Luzon, including the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), implemented manual load droppings or rotational brownouts to stabilize the grid.

As an effect of the Luzon power situation, prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) spiked to Php37 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The drastic increase prompted a market intervention at the WESM, said Isidro Cacho, Corporate Strategy and Communication Chief of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

IEMOP is WESM’s operator.

Cacho explained that the Php37/kWh will be replaced with administered price due to generation deficiency. However, IEMOP will still enforce the secondary price cap of Php6.245/kWh.