‘Yellow alert’ for Cebu power supply in summer; low reserves

By Victor Anthony V. Silva |February 24,2015 - 12:47 AM

by Victor Anthony
V. Silva

Cebu will have enough power supply this summer but its thin reserve doesn’t guarantee zero brownouts, representatives from the power sector said yesterday.
Gov. Hilario Davide III called a meeting at the Capitol to ask for a situationer following the 10-hour blackout in the Visayas grid that struck on Feb. 19 and the rotating brownouts in Metro Cebu that followed.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP)assured that any outage that occurs in the coming days would not last more than three hours before power is restored.
Labios said that if all power plants in the Visayas grid are operating this summer, supply can meet the demand.
Last Feb. 19, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Cebu experienced a 500-MW power deficit, said the Department of Energy.
Abner Bardoquillo, head of the NGCP-Visayas Network Operations division, said that power supply for the whole cluster would be sufficient in the coming days as well as in summer.
“At present, we have enough supply for Cebu because we have an interconnected grid,” he told reporters after the meeting.
The regular demand in the Visayas is 1,403 MW, he said, but when it rises to 1,462 MW during peak hours, there will be a 59 MW deficit, he said.
Antonio Labios, regional director of the Department of Energy (DOE) 7, in a separate interview, said the supply in the Visayas region is “okay” but that reserves are running low.
For this week, the reserves are running at only 40MW to 80 MW, he said.
“We are on yellow alert because of this deficiency,” said Labios.
He said the lack of power reserves was due to the fact that some private power plants are not operational.
He said one 82-MW unit of the Cebu Energy Development Corporation (CEDC) in Toledo City and another 82-MW unit of the Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) were not working while one 100-MW plant of the Kepco- SPC Power Corporation (KSPC) is still under maintenance.
Labios said that if all power plants in the Visayas grid are operating this summer, supply can meet the demand.
Governor Davide asked about the cause of the massive blackout that occurred on Feb. 19, the first day of the Chinese New year, and the succeeding brownouts.
NGCP representatives said they suspect it was due to the explosion of a transformer in a diesel power plant in Naga City. At that time, CEDC was also not operating at full capacity.
Until the investigation is completed, Bardoquillo said neither the NGCP nor the DOE can disclose the cause of the blackout.
Bardoquillo said that plants of independent power producers CEDC, KSPC, and Energy Development Corp. (EDC) will undergo maintenance to avoid a recurrence of the power outages.
NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of the operation, maintenance, and development of the country’s power grid.
It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets.

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