MANILA – Top officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) assured the availability of sufficient electricity on Election Day this Monday (May 13), adding that measures are already in place to prevent any unscheduled power outages that may disrupt the voting, as well as counting processes.
Energy undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella in a briefing, said preparations have been undertaken in cooperation with distribution utilities (DUs) and power plant operators since February, to ensure that there would be enough power in the days leading up to, during and in the immediate aftermath of the elections.
“We may have our differences at times but we are working together because we see the importance of this elections. This is a very sacred moment for our voters and we want to make sure that your vote really counts,” he said.
Fuentebella said the 24/7 monitoring on power supply and transmission lines will start on May 11, Saturday, and will last until the last day of canvassing in all areas unless the Department of Energy (DOE) orders its termination.
He said DUs will have personnel and equipment like back-up generators placed in strategic areas to immediately address any untoward situation.
On Friday, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) declared a yellow alert status for Luzon grid for the period between 1 p.m to 3 p.m. since available capacity for the day is at 11,433 megawatts (MW) while expected demand is at 10,524.
NGCP lifted the yellow alert status by 3:40 p.m. due to low system demand.
Fuentebella attributed the yellow alert status to the forced outages in two power plants namely the Unit 1 of GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. (GMPC), which has an installed capacity of 345 MW, and Unit 1 of the Team Energy Corporation (TEC) Pagbilao, which has an installed capacity of 382 MW.
GMPC’s Unit 1 was affected by high turbine vibration while that of the TEC Pagbila tripped because of excessive water leak at the feed water flow sensing line.
Estimated resumption of operation of GMPC’s Unit 1 is still not known while Unit 1 of TEC Pagbilao is expected to be back online by May 12.
Also, there are eight power plants that are on de-rated capacity during the day.
These are the Unit 2 of SEM-Calaca Power Corporation (SCPC), which is only providing 200MW instead of 300MW due to half condenser operation and Unit 3 of Pagbilao Energy Corporation (PEC) at 350MW instead of 420 MW because its boiler condition is under assessment.
Boiler condition of Unit 2 of SMC Consolidated Power Corporation (SMCCPC) Limay is also currently being assessed, thus, it is not providing its dependable capacity of 150 MW but only 135MW.
Units 1-4 of Angat Hydropower Corporation’s (AHC) hydroelectric power plant is only providing 28MW instead of 200MW due to low water level; similar to the units 1-2 of First Gen Hydro Power Corporation (FGHPC) in Pantabangan, which is totally not providing anything to date.
Low water level is also the reason why Units 1-4 of SN-Aboitiz Power Inc. (SNAP) Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant are only providing 70MW instead of 138MW; Units 1-4 of SNAP Magat is only providing 75MW instead of 380MW, and Units 1-3 of SNAP Ambuklao are producing only 70MW instead of 105MW.
Fuentebella said system assessments as of today show adequate power supply until next week but stressed that this still depends on the performance of the power plants.
He, thus, called on power consumers to help in ensuring the adequacy of power supply by conserving electricity. (PNA)