Luzon power reserves thin from plant outages, de-rated capacities

Luzon power reserves thin from plant outages, de-rated capacities

MANILA — Four power plants have gone on unplanned outages since Monday, while two are on de-rated capacities, (reduced production) resulting in the thinning of power reserves in the Luzon grid.

Data released by the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that Units 1 and 2 of the GN Power Mariveles Coal Power Plant (GMPC) in Bataan have been isolated after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit parts of Luzon past 5pm Monday.

This is also the reason behind the forced outages of the Units 1 and 2 of the SMC Consolidated Power Corporation (SCPC) in Limay, Bataan.

These four power plants have combined installed capacity of 990 megawatts (MW).

Unit 2 of the SCPC is estimated to resume operations either this Thursday or Friday, while the Unit 1 is estimated to go back online either on Friday or Saturday.

There is no information yet on when the GMPC units will go back online.

Relatively, two power plants are running on lower capacities — the SEM-Calaca Power Corporation (SCPC) and Pagbilao Energy Corporation (PEC).

Capacity of SEM-Calaca’s Unit 2 is currently at 200 MW instead of its normal 300 MW because of issues in its condenser operation, while Unit 3 of PEC is providing only 210 MW instead of its normal 420 because its boiler condition is under assessment.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) earlier in the day said available capacity in the Luzon grid on Thursday is at 9,506MW while peak demand is projected at 9,580MW, thus, yellow and red alerts were raised.

Red alert covered the period between 10am to 5pm and 6pm to 11pm while yellow alerts were raised for several periods during the day — at 8am to 10 am, 5pm to 6 pm, and 9pm to 12mn.

NGCP has announced a possible Manual Load Dropping (MLD), or rotational power interruptions (brownouts), in Luzon throughout this period “to maintain the integrity of the power system.”

Also, the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), said MLD was implemented in its franchise areas between 3pm to 5pm Thursday.

These areas include portions of Tutuban, Binondo, San Nicolas, Pandacan and Tondo in Manila; Malolos and Plaridel in Bulacan; Caloocan City; Malabon City; Las Pinas City, and Quezon City.

Also, Dasmarinas City, Gen. M. Alvarez, Silang, Amadeo, Tagaytay City, Alfonso, Mendez-Nunez, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, General Trias, Tanza, Trece Martirez, Imus, Bacoor, Cavite City, Kawit, and Noveleta in Cavite.

MERALCO said it tapped the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which encourages participants with their own generators to use their units instead of tapping the main system for their electricity requirements, a move that resulted in about 182.58MW being unloaded from the system. Joann Villanueva /PNA –