Luzon grid on red alert as power reserves drop

MANILA, Philippines — The Luzon grid was placed on red alert Friday after some hydropower units and state-owned Malaya oil thermal reduced capacity.

Department of Energy Undersecretary Mylene Capongcol said in a text message Friday the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) declared red alert for Luzon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

A red alert signifies the power demand is higher than the available supply.

Capongcol noted Malaya decreased its power output from 350 megawatts to 130 MW.

She also disclosed three hydropower units also went offline namely: Ambuklao unit 3, Kalayaan unit 3 and 4. The three power plants have a capacity of 395 MW.

Capongcol said the power demand totals 9,746 MW, while the supply amounts to 9,771 MW.

Luzon’s largest distribution utility, Manila Electric Co., also said in an advisory it will start implementing rotating brownouts at 1 p.m.

The power firm further stressed it has tapped Interruptible Load Program participants to start de-loading their demand at 1 p.m. The ILP participants have a total demand of 826 MW.

Meralco cited its power deficiency at 1 p.m. totals 30 MW, 2 p.m. at 200-220 MW and at 3 p.m. at 160 MW.

It expects to return to yellow alert after 4 p.m.

Manila Electric Co. said Friday that seven power units are offline, namely: hydro-power Kalayaan units 3 and 4, coal-fired Pagbilao 1, oil-fired Malaya 1, hydro-power Magat units 3 and 4 and hydro-power Botocan 2.

The distribution utility also reported coal-fired Calaca unit 1 and 2 have also derated its capacities. PNA/