Red, yellow alerts raised over Visayas grid after four power plant outages

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said it declared red and yellow and over the Visayas grid on Monday, with the red alert subsequently canceled before it was due to begin after sufficient power was found to offset the loss of four power plants.

The Luzon grid was also placed on yellow alert for most of the afternoon and early evening, it said.

In a statement, the Department of Energy said that aside from the four plants that reported forced outages, three were running below capacity.

Yellow alerts were issued on the Visayas grid for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The red alert was due to take hold for the 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. period, but was canceled beforehand.

Yellow alerts are declared when supply available to the grid falls below a designated safety threshold. If the supply-demand balance deteriorates further, a red alert is declared, warning consumers of rolling brownouts.

The Energy department said that power plants on the Visayas grid that went on forced outage were unit 1 of PB 101 in Iloilo; units 2 and 3 of Therma Power-Visayas, Inc.; and unit 3 of Panay Energy Development Corp.

On the Luzon grid, the NGCP said four power plants in Luzon experienced forced outages while three were operating on derated capacity, leaving 2,080 megawatts (MW) unavailable to the grid.

The yellow alerts on Luzon covered the periods 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The NGCP said capacity was 11,572 MW while peak demand was 10,548 MW.

Power plants that went on forced outage in Luzon were Calaca 2 in Batangas; Masinloc 3 in Zambales; GNPower Mariveles Energy Center Ltd. Co. Unit 1, and GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. in Bataan, according to the Energy department.  

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said it notified interruptible load program (ILP) participants of possible activation after the alerts were declared.

“As of 11:30 a.m., we have 229 MW of committed de-loading capacity under the ILP,” Meralco said in a statement issued on Viber.

ILP participants are large power users that have their own generating facilities. These entities stop drawing power from the grid for a time, tapping their own power plants for their needs, reducing the overall load on the grid.

The power distributor said it is ready to implement manual load dropping or rotating power interruptions if needed.

The Luzon grid was also placed under yellow alert on Dec. 1 and Nov. 28. The Energy Regulatory Commission has said it will investigate the cause of the plant outages that triggered the alerts. — Ashley Erika O. Jose