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Red alert raised, Luzon power consumers warned on rolling brownouts

A red alert has been raised warning electricity consumers in the Luzon grid of rolling brownouts, including the franchise area of Manila Electric Company (Meralco), based on the notice sent by system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Red alert or the probability of power interruptions in the grid has been declared for 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday (April 10); and at 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. propelled by a condition wherein there is “no contingency reserve” or no generating capacity that can be called for immediate dispatch when another facility breaks down.

The system operator advised of manual load dropping or rolling brownouts in areas on the hours when there is no power reserve in the system.

Meralco said that it was still ascertaining which areas could be potentially affected by the rotating brownouts and will make further announcements.

The Luzon grid will be on yellow alert at 10:00 am; 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.; 5:00 p.m.; 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The situation in the power grid worsened following the forced outage of the 647MW unit 1 of the 1,200 Sual coal-fired power plant – the generating asset which has the biggest capacity per unit in the country.

The other power generating assets still on outage are unit 2 of South Luzon Power Generation Corp of the Consunji group; Pagbilao coal plant of Aboitiz Power and TeaM Energy Philippines; unit 1 South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp of Ayala/Phinma Group; and unit 2 of the Malaya thermal plant of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.

De-rated or those facilities that have reduced generating capacities are unit 2 Calaca coal-fired plant of the Consunji group; unit 1 of Malaya of PSALM: and unit 4 of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp.

According to NGCP, at least 1,702MW of capacity had been out from the system due to forced outages of power plants; while 270MW had been due to the de-rated capacity of other power facilities.

The Department of Energy (DoE) assured last week that power supply will be enough without mentioning the worsening condition of the grid.

As of 8:00 a.m. trading interval, prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) already started rising to roughly P8.80 per kilowatt hour from the lows of P3.50 to P3.90 per kWh during the off-peak hours from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Spot prices are anticipated to climb further as red alert conditions occur up to the conclusion of the yellow alerts which are anticipated to wind up at 9:00 p.m.



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