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DoE says working to make supply of power more reliable next year

WORKERS fix an electric line in Payatas, Quezon City, March 13. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it is working to reduce potential disruptions in the power supply in 2023, after a further yellow alert were declared over the power grid in the wake of more unexpected power plant shutdowns.

“The yellow and red alerts right now (are) not a preview of what will happen during the summer months,” Energy Assistant Secretary Mario C. Marasigan told BusinessWorld by phone on Tuesday. 

Mr. Marasigan said the power outlook for 2023 indicates adequate supply, even during the dry season, but “the DoE is now preparing to make power available and to ensure that transmission systems are also available.”

He did not elaborate on the measures.

Mr. Marasigan said the DoE is still investigating the cause of the recent yellow and red alerts raised over the Luzon and Visayas grids.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon power grid on yellow alert once more on Tuesday after four power plants in Luzon experienced forced outages, while three were producing less than their capacities, making 2,145 megawatts (MW) unavailable to the grid.  

The power grid operator raised the yellow alert for the 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. periods. The NGCP said that the available capacity was 11,522 MW while peak demand was 10,612 MW.  

The NGCP will issue a yellow alert when supply available to the grid falls below a designated safety threshold. If the supply-demand balance deteriorates further, a red alert will be issued, signaling the possibility of rotational brownouts.

“Our investigation and inspections are still ongoing. We are directly coordinating with plant operators to determine the cause of these forced outages and why it takes long before they can go back into the system. We are monitoring all of these red and yellow alerts,” Mr. Marasigan said.

The Luzon grid was also placed under yellow alert on Dec. 5, Dec. 1 and Nov. 28, while red and yellow alerts were also issued for the Visayas grid on Dec. 5.

The Energy Regulatory Commission has also said it will investigate the forced outages. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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