The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is seeking the intervention of Malacanang to help avert a possible power shortage in the summer months, specifically the possibility of having multiple Red and Yellow Alerts in Luzon.
NGCP submitted a letter to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, through Exec. Sec. Salvador Medialdea, on January 31 to warn the chief executive about the power situation in the next few months, including the election period.
Under the “worst-case scenario,” NGCP projected 14 weeks of Red Alerts and 15 weeks of Yellow Alerts in the Luzon Grid, the largest of the country’s three power transmission networks. The Visayas Grid is also seen to have up to 49 weeks of Red Alerts and four weeks of Yellow Alerts, especially if no power would be transported from the Luzon Grid.
The grid firm added that the critical period of power supply would be from the week of April 18 until the week of May 30. The said period includes the automated elections itself on May 9 and the canvassing of votes.
NGCP’s prediction is based on generator maintenance movements and historical data of unplanned shutdowns – which according to the grid firm is crucial in considering the increasing regularity of unplanned maintenance shutdowns of power plants.
The grid firm is urging the government to consider demand-side interventions like declaring special non-working holidays during the days of the election and canvassing of votes.
The Department of Energy (DOE) also warned that Luzon may have Yellow and Red Alerts sandwiching the elections. Using NGCP’s historical data on forced outages in the last three years, the DOE said the Yellow Alerts may occur within the weeks of April 18 and 25, while the Red Alerts are seen within the weeks of May 16 and May 23.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, urged the DOE in the latest episode of Power Podcast to treat the possible Red and Yellow Alerts in Luzon as an “energy crisis.”
NGCP had projected a peak demand of 12,387 megawatts (MW) in Luzon this year, higher than last year’s actual peak load of 11,640MW.