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NGCP warns of power supply shortage in Luzon

By: Ronnel Domingo - Philippine Daily Inquirer | April 19,2021 - 12:42 PM

Lockdown restrictions that have been restored three weeks ago are causing extended power plant outages that may result in supply shortage in Luzon despite lower power demand, according to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

“We continue to urge the authorities to look into this impending power situation in Luzon during this summer season,” NGCP said in a statement.

“As the transmission service provider, NGCP can only guarantee the dispatch of all and any available grid resources. It cannot intervene on matters concerning power generation,” it added. The grid operator said the Luzon grid needed about 4 percent of the peak demand—about 475 megawatts (MW)—in regulating power to stabilize the grid.

Also, NGCP needs to maintain power capacity at a level equivalent to the largest plant online—about 647 MW—as contingency supply to support the grid in case of an emergency power plant shutdown.

“Once the net operating margin falls below these numbers, NGCP will issue grid alert notices,” it said. This could result in the implementation of manual load dropping or rotating power interruptions to protect the integrity of the power grid.

For April 19, NGCP pegged the expected operating margin for Luzon at 1,285 MW.

It said operating margins were forecast to be thin in the Luzon grid from April to August this year due to extended outage of multiple power plants.

This was due to technical limitations such as delays in delivery of materials or spare parts, temporary work stoppage and travel restrictions.

According to projections by the Department of Energy, daily peak demand in Luzon might reach 11,841 MW this year, higher than the daily peak demand of 11,103 MW in 2020.

NGCP said despite lower power demand due to tighter lockdown restrictions in the past two to three weeks, it was calling on industry players’ intervention to help address the “impending supply shortage in Luzon.”

Ironically, it said the projected shortage “may possibly not occur” if the forecast peak demand would not be realized due to the quarantine restrictions in power-hungry areas including the National Capital Region. INQ

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