Power demand in Luzon, Visayas may hit 12,000MW in 2Q

NGCP facility 2

The peak demand in Luzon and Visayas is expected to breach 12,000 megawatts (MW) in the next three month, according to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

Based on conservative forecasts cited in a BusinessMirror report, system peak demand this April could reach 12,190MW and may even climb to 12,400MW and 12,611MW in May and June, respectively.

In Luzon, peak demand could register 10,160MW in April, 10,335MW in May and 10,511MW in June. On the other hand, Visayas could record 2,043MW in April, 2,079MW in May and 2,114MW in June.

However, IEMOP said these numbers are preliminary and still could change depending on the government’s decision to ease community quarantine restrictions. The NCR-plus bubble, as well as Abra, Quirino, and Santiago City in Isabela are under modified enhanced community quarantine until April 30.

The peak demand for this March in Luzon was recorded on the 18th at 10,487MW, still lower than last year’s peak demand of 1,065MW in the same month. 

In the first quarter of 2020, the system peak demand was at 11,015MW in January, 11,485MW in February, and 12,583MW in March. 

IEMOP, the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market’s operator, said it observed a decrease in demand during times when areas in Luzon were under stricter quarantine restrictions.

Last March, the spot market price hit Php4.23 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), nearly twice the price in February at Php2.22 per kWh because of higher demand and increase in unplanned outages. This also led to the increase in the electric bills of Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) customers for April.

Among the power plants that were shut down were the GNPower Dinginin coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan, the Pagbilao coal plant in Quezon, and Sual coal plant in Pangasinan.