Visayas grid short of 200 MW; brownouts this week
The Visayas Grid, which includes Cebu, is short by 200 megawatts starting today until the end of the week, due to power plant shutdowns for emergency preventive maintenance.
Consumers can expect a spell of rotation brownouts lasting an hour or more.
The power loss in the Visayas is higher than the 122 MW shortage in the Mindanao grid, where brownouts up to ten hours a day are being experienced.
However, the impact may be less in Metro Cebu, where the cutback is only 36 megawatts for now, and private owners of big standby generators can be asked to use their facilities, according to the Visayan Electric Company (Veco).
“We have not shut off power in any area within the franchise nor asked any of our ILP partners to shed load. The power supply we have so far is enough,” said Val Saludo, Veco vice president for engineering as of 4:30 p.m. yesterday.
He said 50 MW was imported from the Luzon grid.
Starting today, Veco will publish lists of priority areas in Metro Cebu for rotation brownouts, said Theresa Gonzales-Sederiosa, Veco corporate communication manager.
“This is to make people aware that if we need to implement rotation brownouts, these areas will be shut down first. There’s no definite time, though, because it will depend on the volume of demand for power at a given time,” she said.
A brownout is most likely to happen during peak hours between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., she said.
Veco was sent an advisory about the unscheduled load curtailment by the National Grid Corp. of the Philiippines.
Peak demand yesterday was 400 MW in the Veco franchise, said Saludo.
He said that in case supply is not enough, Veco will first use the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), where 26 companies pledged to use their own generator sets if needed. After that option, Veco will shut off power in other areas.
The ILP can contribute as much 20 MW of the load curtailment while the remaining 16 MW of the 36 MW cutback will have to be rotated through hour-long brownouts across their franchise area, said Saludo.
Hospitals, military establishments and other vital establishments will be given preference in staying brownout-free.
One unit in each of three plants in the Visayas will undergo emergency preventive maintenance.
Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) in Toledo is expected to go back on line after three days. Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) in Iloilo will take five days.
The Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant (TGPP) in Leyte has not given any timeframe yet, said Saludo.
He said the public can help ease the problem by minimizing use of appliances like air-conditioners during peak hours of demand.
So far, the biggest load curtailment of Veco was 84 MW which happened after supertyphoon Yolanda when all 500 MW of power sourced from Leyte was not available.
“At that time we implemented ILP as well as a one to two-hour rotation brownouts because the shortage was really high,” recalled Sederiosa.
Veco’s franchise area covers Liloan town in the north to San Fernando town in the south, including cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu,with over 360,000 customers.
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