Visayas power grid placed on red alert status anew

BOHOL, Philippines – The entire Visayas grid was again placed under a "red alert" status, the term used by the energy sector when power consumption is short on available supply, according to the latest advisory by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Thursday, August 3.

In its consumer bulletin, the NGCP revealed the available capacity for the Visayas grid from 5 pm to 10 pm stood at 1,828 megawatts (MW) against a peak power demand of 1,840 MW.

Since July 31, the NGCP has been issuing red alert status messages for its Visayas grid due to the foreseen power shortage.

"Visayas grid is on red alert due to generation deficiency resulting from limited output of one generating unit of Palm Concepcion Power Plant (PCPC) and unavailability of some units of geothermal plants in Leyte," the corporation said in its August 3 advisory. The August 3 advisory is a rehash of the company's previous announcement.

It said the company is still working on the restoration of its damaged converter station in Ormoc City, Leyte so that it can import power supply from Luzon.

NGCP's facility and geothermal power plants in Leyte had sustained substantial damage after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck Leyte on July 6. The earthquake triggered weeks of brownouts in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol.

In Region 7, Bohol province suffered the longest period of blackouts, as it is fully dependent on power supply through the submarine-cable-routed Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Grid.

Earlier, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced power had been fully restored, commending "all those in the energy department and industry participants who contributed to attaining this achievement four days earlier than the 31 July deadline."

In a statement, Cusi also said, "I congratulate and thank the hardworking people, especially those on the ground, for attaining 100% restoration of power in Leyte, Samar and Bohol."

On July 31, however, the NGCP placed the entire Visayas grid on red alert status, continuing the red alert status messages since then.

"The public is advised to contact their local distribution utilites (DU) for more information as some areas may experience rotational power interruptions because of the generation deficiency," the advisory said.

For the August 4 power situation outlook, the NGCP noted that Luzon has an available capacity of 11,036 MW and its system peak demand is expected at 9,009 MW only, leaving the Luzon grid with 2,027 MW gross reserve.

The Visayas grid, on the other hand, is expected to receive a 78-MW gross reserve, while the Mindanao grid has a declared available capacity of 2,262 MW, 672 MW more of its peak power demand of 1,590 MW. –