DOE: Luzon grid could see 15 weeks of yellow alerts


The Luzon grid may experience 15 weeks of yellow alerts this year, from earlier projections of 12, possibly due to possible delays in the commercial operation of power plants and transmission constraints, among others.

“With the assumption of scheduled planned outage from power plants, forced outage and additional capacity from committed or upcoming power plants, we are expecting 15 Yellow Alerts and zero Red Alert throughout the year,” said Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara during the Philippine Electric Power Industry Forum.

However, the DOE official cited events that could reduce the number of yellow alerts.

“But with the import from Visayas of about 250 MW to provide stability to the Luzon’s supply, the number of critical weeks with yellow alerts might be reduced,” said Guevara.

She was referring to the interconnection project that will link the Visayas and Mindanao grids which would be 80 percent complete by the end of this month. In essence, the Mindanao grid will be linked to the Visayas grid via the high voltage direct current system with a 450-mwgawatt (MW) initial capacity. The full completion of the project is expected in June this year.

Yellow alerts are issued when the level of power reserve in the grid is low, while red alerts are declared when actual power supply against demand is insufficient and power interruptions are imminent.

Aside from the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project, the DOE is banking on the ongoing development of the liquefied natural gas terminals that will provide fuel to Ilijan power plant tentatively in June. If and when this happens, there could be an additional 1,200 MW in the Luzon grid.

Also, Guevera said the DOE is requesting generation companies to avoid maintenance shutdown during the summer months.

For Luzon, the expected peak demand this year is expected to hit 13,125 MW. Guevara said the DOE is preparing initiatives for two events this year. These are the Philippine hosting of FIBA World Cup from August 25 to September 10 and the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) on October 30.

For Visayas, the DOE expects five yellow alerts and zero red alert. Demand forecast could reach 2,691MW. “Yellow alerts will fall in the months of October to December. This is the power demand outlook for Visayas in the evening. During daytime, we do not expect any yellow or red alerts,” said Guevara.

For the Mindanao grid having a peak demand forecast of 2,395 MW, the power outlook for the hot dry season and during the BSKE this year will be normal with no expected yellow and red alerts, said the DOE official.

“Our energy sector is market-driven and as such, it is the private sector comprising of the generation, transmission and distribution, who will have to work very hard to make this outlook a reality.

Of course, demand side management is expected from our residential, commercial and industrial consumers—we all have to do our part. The DOE family will continue to come up with relevant, timely and fair policies, policy recommendations and programs, in partnerships with our stakeholders, to deliver secure, sustainable, sufficient, affordable and environment-friendly energy to all economic sectors,” she said.