DOE warns possibility of yellow alert in Luzon as 13 generating units go offline

MANILA, Philippines — The Luzon grid has the potential to go on yellow alert Monday as 13 generating units went offline.

“There is already a probability of a yellow alert this afternoon,” Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada told reporters Monday.

The secretary, however, explained the yellow alert does not signify there will be brownouts — but will likely occur if a power plant goes offline.

Luzon requires a reserve of 647 megawatts, as its biggest power plant coal-fired Sual has the same capacity.

Monsada cited the peak demand is at 9,176 megawatts for 2:00 p.m., while the available supply totals 9,985 MW.

She also disclosed Luzon has already reached its peak demand of 9,039 MW last April 7, adding the forecast might breach last year’s forecasted demand of 9,345 MW by May.

The Luzon grid traditionally peaks in May as the high temperature forces the public to use more cooling appliances.

The 13 generating units are from 9 power plants, which are: coal-fired Pagbilao, hydro-power Magat, hydro-power San Roque, diesel-fired Therma Mobile, coal-fired Calaca, hydro-power Angat, geothermal-fired Tiwi, geothermal-fired Makban and diesel-fired Limay. The unavailable units have a total capacity of 1,488 MW.

Monsada assured the 650-MW Malaya thermal oil power plant and the Interruptible Load Program, with a capacity of 826 MW, is prepared to reduce the shortfall in capacity.

The department also disclosed the units that are expected to be online Monday evening are the 300-MW Calaca Unit 2 and 119-MW TMO Unit 5 and 6. Juzel Danganan/PNA/