As part of the Power Task Force Election 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) remains keen on ensuring that power supply in the country will be adequate, reliable and stable for the entire summer period, especially during the national and local elections.
“Our team is currently assessing the power supply situation by closely coordinating with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the power plant owners/operators in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to make sure that the generating facilities which are currently on maintenance shutdown will be back online ahead of the election period,” Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada said. She emphasized that these planned outages are more on the integrity assessment of the plants to ensure that these are sound and running during the elections period.
Sec. Monsada added that the yellow alert only means that we have a limited or thin reserve power; and based on the outlook for Luzon, yellow alert status will only register in the afternoon of today as reserve power will normalize in the evening.
Moreover, it has been reported to the DOE that the National Grid Corporation of Philippines, as the system operator, has already alerted the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., the operator of the 600 MW Malaya Plant to run this generating facility in an effort to augment the power supply. The DOE has also coordinated with the Interruptible Load Program participants for provisional power supply of about 826 MW to supplement the available capacities.
Luzon power generating plants undergoing maintenance shutdown are targeted to be back online before April ends. Expected to be back on stream tonight are the 300 MW Calaca Unit 2 which suffers from turbine problem, and TMO Units 5 and 6 totaling to 119 MW which extended its maintenance works. Other plants with scheduled maintenance are the 382 MW Pagbilao Unit 1, 190 MW Magat Hydropower plant, and 145 MW San Roque Unit 3.
For Visayas, the geothermal power plants operated by EDC are still undergoing maintenance since January. It has to be noted that the Visayas Grid has normal reserve level throughout the day except in the evening where drop in output can be attributed to reduced capacities from solar power generating plants.
Meanwhile, the 150 MW Therma South, Inc. plant, which is on forced outage, is already undergoing assessment to immediately restore the needed power supply capacities in Mindanao, which is now on red alert. Moreover, the 35 MW Pulangui Unit 4 will be back online before April ends.
By laying down measures and synchronizing efforts in preparation for the elections on09 May 2016, it can be recalled that the Commission on Elections has deputized the DOE and various energy agencies for the provision of electricity to every voter’s precinct. Relatively, the DOE has been meeting with power stakeholders (e.g., Generation, Transmission, Distribution companies, and Local Government Units) around the country to discuss and simulate their preparedness plans and programs for the elections.
Furthermore, power supply updates on Election Day will be published through the DOE’s Twitter account (@DOE_PH), Facebook account (www.facebook.com/doe.gov.ph) and the DOE website (www.doe.gov.ph), as well as in various social networking sites of the Election Power Task Force members at a designated time in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Alongside all these measures, the DOE continues to encourage all energy consumers to practice efficient and judicious use of electricity as a way of life beyond elections and summer.