DOE: Red alerts in Luzon grid possible after May 9 polls


Published January 25, 2022 6:17pm

The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday raised the possibility that red alerts might be raised in the Luzon power grid, which might lead to rotational power interruptions, in the next two weeks following the May 9, 2022 elections.

At a virtual press briefing, DOE Power Industry Management Bureau Director Mario Marasigan said that considering historical data on forced or unplanned power plant outages, the raising of red alert is possible on the weeks of May 16 and May 23, just right after the elections period.

“We can show you that there are no potential yellow alerts or red alerts for the entire year. However, in consideration of historical events, forced or unscheduled plant outages happen. In our assessment, we used the average data in the last three years,” Marasigan said.

“We may raise a red alert after the elections, so that will not cover the day itself, particularly the week of May.  We’ll not have a problem with that. But immediately the week after that, we may have a red and yellow alert. So with that, we have potential two red alerts and four yellow alerts for the entire year,” he added.

A red alert status is issued when supplies are insufficient to meet consumer demand and the transmission grid’s regulating requirement.

Under a red alert, the grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines may implement manual load dropping or rotating brownouts to maintain the grid’s integrity.

A yellow alert, meanwhile, is issued when the excess power is insufficient to meet the transmission grid’s regulating and contingency requirement, pegged at about 495 megawatts (MW) and 647MW, respectively.


Despite the possible rotating brownouts, Marasigan said the DOE is already preparing solutions to address the potential untoward power situation.

The Energy official said the Luzon grid can tap the GN Power Dinginin 2 power plant’s 400 MW capacity which can be plugged into the power system during its testing and commissioning by April.

Another solution is the new SMC Mariveles Coal-Fired Power Plant, which is expected to add 100-MW of power to the grid.

“Another solution that we are seeing is the optimization of the Luzon-Visayas Interconnection, where up to 350 MW can be available. But of course, it would still depend on how the market develops,” Marasigan added.

For the Visayas, the DOE official said yellow alerts may be raised in the grid due to 112MW of potential forced outages.

However, this can be averted by the availability of high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission system.

Marasigan, meanwhile, noted that Mindanao has the most reliable grid since it has the capacity to fill in a potential 90-MW of forced outages.

The DOE earlier reassured the public that there will be no inadvertent power issues during the dry season which coincides within the May 9, 2022 elections period. 

The NGCP has warned of thin operating margins from April to June, which includes the critical election period, due to an expected increase in demand.—LDF, GMA News


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