3-hour rotating brownouts in Luzon start next week

Despite Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes’ brave pronouncements that Luzon will not be plunged into power supply shortages again, system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) warned Thursday of two-three hours of rotating brownouts hitting consumers in the country’s biggest grid for the next round if hurdles in generation deficiency cannot be addressed expeditiously.

The system operator declared ‘red alert’ status for the grid for almost a month, from February 16 to March 11, due to forecast deficiency in generation which may hover by as massive as 500 megawatts. When that happens, NGCP noted that the impact will be two to three hours of rolling brownouts.

Carlito C. Claudio, NGCP’s deputy assistant chief technical officer, said the power plants on inventory and which are scheduled to run while the Malampaya gas facility is on shutdown would not be enough to meet demand.

Claudio explained that the 600-megawatt Malaya thermal plant cannot run at full capacity “due to fuel constraints,” since the reserve fuel has already been used to offset capacity loss in the grid when Sual plant was on shutdown.

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