BREAKING

Monday, July 10, 2017

DOE To Restore Energy Services After Visayas Earthquake


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At around 4:00 p.m. on 6 July 2017, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in Jaro, Leyte causing power interruptions in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol Islands. Panay, Negros, Cebu and the other areas in the Visayas.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has been closely coordinating with the members of the energy family to assess the extent of the damage.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi advised industry players to ensure the safe delivery of energy services to consumers in the earthquake-affected areas.

The DOE initially monitored the following pieces of information that happened on Thursday (06 July 2017):

1. The Bohol Grid experienced total power failure at 4:04 p.m. because it was affected by the tripping of Ormoc-Maasin Feeder load involving 64.2 megawatts (MW).

2. Market Intervention was declared by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as system operator starting at interval 17 (or 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) due to the isolation of the Leyte and Samar Areas and tripping of the Leyte-A power plant.

3. After the earthquake, power interruptions occurred in the Panay and Negros areas due to the Under Frequency Relay (UFR) caused by the outage of Leyte-A power plant.

4. Initial report from the power generator, GreenCore, stated that all the geothermal power plants in Leyte tripped at 4:04 p.m. after the magnitude 6.5 quake with the epicenter near the geothermal complex.

Damage to Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant switch yard was reported.

Power generators, Green Core and Energy Development Corporation (EDC), are assessing the total damage.

5. The epicenter of the 6.5 intensity earthquake is near the Municipality of Kananga, Leyte where the geothermal plants are located.

Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros and Panay were affected by the earthquake but only Leyte and Bohol experienced total power failure.

Due to the earthquake's impact on the power situation for these provinces, which may still change because of the volatility of the demand by the hour and the loss of the generating capacity of affected geothermal plants, the DOE is advising the public to practice demand-side management by curbing their use of electricity as a community effort to keep the power situation stable.

6. Earthquake Advisory as of 6:00 p.m. from the NGCP relayed that:

At 4:03 p.m., a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in Jaro, Leyte causing blackout in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol Islands. Panay, Negros and Cebu Islands experienced power interruptions but are now fully restored.

NGCP is still assessing the extent of the damage to its transmission facilities in the Visayas region. Aerial and foot patrol will commence once it is safe.

Updates will be issued as soon as available.

7. Additional information from the NGCP stated that the System Operator-initiated Market Intervention is still in effect. All Trading Participants are required to comply with the dispatch instruction of the System Operator.

8. In the power generation sector, Vice President Lito Santos of the EDC reported to Energy Secretary Cusi that all employees were accounted for, with some of the personnel suffering from minor injuries. EDC owns and operates the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants (ULGPP). Santos further submitted that all of ULGPP's units which generate over 500 MW tripped. Santos assures the energy Secretary that the assessments are still ongoing and will prioritize the Tongonan Unit. The EDC observed that the 138kV tie-line is intact. Hence, it can concentrate on restoring the operations of its generators to deliver the generated electricity into the grid which may take one to two weeks. This timeline may change after a thorough assessment is conducted.

9. Another power generator, Green Core Geothermal Inc. reported that in Palinpinon geothermal power plant unit 1 which generates around 37 MW tripped. It was offline at around 4:00 p.m. due to the activation of the Cebu-Negros System Integrity Protection Scheme.

However, the plant was immediately back online and delivering its generated electricity at 5:00 p.m. of the same day.

10. The NGCP, reported as of 6:00 p.m. that services by the transmission facilities have been fully restored. Nevertheless, the NGCP seeks to re-assess the extent of the damage to its Tongonan-Kananga 158 KV tie-line as well as the other transmission facilities in the entire Visayas region.

NGCP assured the DOE and the public that the necessary aerial and foot patrols will immediately commence once the conditions to conduct the same are safe.

11. At 9:00 p.m., the NGCP updated its report stating that the areas without power are Samar, Bohol, Southern Leyte and some parts of Northern Leyte.

The DOE enjoins all the managers of the energy facilities, including the power distribution utilities, to submit regular updates to the DOE for proper coordination and quick restoration.

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