Luzon to experience power supply woes due to thin reserves

Luzon to experience power supply woes due to thin reserves

Jan 10, 2023, 6:48 AM
Dhana Garcia

Dhana Garcia


Despite the steady supply right now, Luzon may experience yellow alerts throughout the year as power supply wobbled in sufficiency.

The Department of Energy (DoE) warned that Luzon may experience a tightening power supply during the summer (officially called dry season period) months despite its stable condition now.

The hot season is when peak demand happens because of prolonged use of electric fans and airconditioners, the need for more cold water from refs and water dispensers and other thirst-quenching drinks.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) also issues yellow alerts meaning there is insufficient power supply in the grid.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has projected that the current cold La Nina in the winter months around the world will disappear in early 2023 (or by February) to be replaced by the scorching El Nino (dry spell that usually results in droughts).

The worst case scenario would be when a power plant goes down which may cause the issuance of a red alert where a supply deficiency exists and can result to power interruptions.

Energy Undersecretary Rowena Christina Guevara reassured that there will be no red alerts anticipated this year. However, yellow alerts are expected to be raised in Luzon 12 times around early March to late November, specifically the following period:
• March 12 - March 18
• March 26 - April 1
• April 23 - April 29
• Entire month of May
• June 1 - June 10
• August 27 - September 2
• October 15 - October 21
• November 19 - November 25

These estimates made by the DoE are already factored in the scheduled outage of power plants with a combined capacity of 500 to 600 megawatts (MW).

Power deficiencies are expected this year especially with no output from the Ilijan power plant.

Meanwhile for Visayas, yellow alerts are possible for Q2 of 2023 due to idle generating capacity and the ongoing construction of the Cebu-Negros-Panay projects.

DoE added that there would be a tighter supply for the evening peak in Visayas, which brings high possibility of yellow alert and even red alerts.

As for Mindanao, the island is expected to enjoy sufficient supply of electricity in 2023, a DoE official from Mindanao said.

Engr. Erick George D. Uy, science research specialist II of the DoE-Mindanao, said the whole island still enjoys an average actual reserve of 842 megawatts from January to December 15.

Peak demand in the Mindanao grid this year was recorded at 2,167 MW last June 1.

“When it comes to supply, our supply in Mindanao is enough. We expect the same scenario for 2023,” he added.

Guevara indicated that this year, there were committed power projects with a total capacity of 1,074 MW based on DoE data.

These include 250 MW of coal-fired power plants, 11 MW of oil-fired power plants, 46 MW of geothermal power, 7.4 MW of biomass, 31.36 MW of hydropower, 480.5 MW of solar electricity, and 110 MW of wind power.

Additionally, President Marcos along with Vice President Sara Duterte are pushing for nuclear energy which would help lower electricity rates and secure a steady power source.

Tags: #Electricity, #Luzon, #DoE

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