NGCP: Possible thin power supply in Luzon in summer, election period

NGCP transmission line with sun 2

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) warns of thin power supply in Luzon during the summer season, which would also cover the upcoming 2022 presidential elections. 

The thin operating margins are seen particularly in the second quarter, or from April to June, due to the increasing demand during the summer season. Between this is the election on May 9, wherein over 97,000 automated vote-counting machines would be used. 

NGCP officials met with counterparts from the Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday in the wake of the Yellow Alerts in Luzon earlier that week to consolidate the preventive maintenance schedules of power plants to consider the needed supply that would help meet the projected demand. 

One of the things discussed in the meeting was the 2022 Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP), wherein power plants are directed to avoid maintenance shutdowns scheduled during the second quarter. The DOE first approved the 2022 GOMP on January 10.

“NGCP, in compliance with its mandate, coordinated with the generation and distribution sectors so that we could optimize and rationalize our own maintenance schedules, to ensure sufficiency, at least on paper, of power supply throughout the year,” the grid firm said in a statement.

Following the meeting, the DOE earlier said it expects no further Yellow Alerts in Luzon this year, “with the NGCP having proposed some amendments in the schedule of generator maintenance adjustments.” The department also emphasized the importance of planning power plant maintenance shutdowns to help provide the Luzon Grid adequate power supply and reserves. 

However, NGCP emphasized that the GOMP is not always followed. 

“It is when there are unscheduled shutdowns and derations, and extensions of maintenance duration, that grid operations may be disrupted enough to warrant the issuance of a grid alert status,” the company said.

Lack of GOMP compliance was a key issue that led to the Luzon Red Alerts from May 31-June 2 last year.

The DOE earlier projected a peak demand of 12,387 megawatts (MW) in Luzon to occur in the last week of May. This is 747MW more versus the 2021 peak load of 11,640MW. 

To help prevent possible shortages, NGCP has called on the government to explore demand management strategies, especially during the presidential elections in May.