For the past five months since this new administration, there has been continued reports of shortness in power supply in the Luzon grid, and now even in the Visayas grid. Maybe it is not about shortness of power from power transmission companies and distributors, but more of a power play among the regulators and the heads of companies running the grids and distribution companies.
Quite often these past weeks, power insufficiency is being reported by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines—which raise yellow to red alerts that means inadequate supply to meet demand.
Then today we hear of red alert being raised in the Visayas grid, which means outages would occur at certain periods of the day.
Inadequacy of supply is often being blamed for the high cost of fuel—with high prices in the world market and the ongoing war of Russia in Ukraine—but recent weeks have seen Dubai crude and those of other world suppliers declining.
Through all these alerts and reports of inadequate supplies, the natural reaction from the Department of Energy is to send the Energy Regulatory Commission out to investigate the shortfall.
But isn’t it the job of DoE and ERC to keep monitoring—physically and regularly— the condition of power transmitters and distributors and those of the NGCP. Instead of just picking a fight with NGCP and some other power providers like San Miguel, the ERC must establish harmony and trust with them so they can report truthfully and factually the condition of their operations? The problem is those heading DoE, ERC and other power regulatory agencies are headed by former executives of one power company, whose leader is too close to the one in the palace. Need we say more.
The country’s power supply was put at risk after a red alert status was raised in the Visayas while Luzon continued to suffer from a thin electricity supply.
The DoE said a red alert was raised in the Visayas grid from 5 to 6 p.m. and a yellow alert from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m.
Back in the country’s largest island of Luzon, a yellow alert was up from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The DOE said in the Visayas, power plants on forced outage were Unit 1 of Power Barge 101, Units 2 and 3 of the Naga diesel power plant, and Unit 3 of the Panay power plant.
“Those running on derated capacities are TPC Thermal, EDC/Leyte 2, and PGPP2,” it added.
In Luzon, power plants that were on unscheduled shutdown included Unit 2 of the Calaca power plant, Unit 3 of the Masinloc power plant, Unit 1 of the Mariveles power plant, and Unit 2 of the Dinginin power plant while those running on limited capacities were Units 1 and 2 of the Masinloc power plant and Unit 1 of the Sual power plant.
Outages cause probed
Earlier, the ERC said it would investigate the issuance of yellow alerts in Luzon which began last week.
“We investigate the outages to determine causes and, if needed, issue show-cause orders to allow affected parties to explain,” said ERC chair Monalisa Dimalanta had told Inquirer.
“Penalties are issued if explanation is not valid, but more importantly we see how causes can be addressed to avoid further outages,” Dimalanta added.
The yellow alert status means very small power reserves are available to meet any spike in demand, while the red alert status denotes a supply deficiency exists which can result in power interruptions.
“The red/yellow alerts that occurred last Monday are under evaluation. We expect updated report from our team next week. For this set of outages today, report will be submitted to the Commission in two weeks,” Dimalanta said last week.
Tags: #DoE, #ERC, #powershortages, #Luzongrid, #NGCP, #Visayasgrid