NGCP declares yellow alert over Luzon grid

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) declared a yellow alert over the Luzon power grid on Monday after more than 1,400 megawatts (MW) worth of plant capacity were reported inoperable.

In an advisory early Thursday, the NGCP said that the yellow alert was raised on Luzon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. with peak demand estimated at 13,714 MW for the period, against available capacity of 15,167 MW.

The grid operator said that four plants have been on forced outage since 2023. Three became inoperable between January and March, and nine have been out since April. One plant is running on derated capacity.

As a result of the plant shutdowns and capacity limitations, 1,406.09 MW were unavailable to the grid.

As of the 4:31 p.m., the yellow alert for Luzon had been lifted by the NGCP.

According to the NGCP, the Luzon grid went on red alert for five days and on yellow alert for 11 days in April. The Visayas grid was on red and yellow alerts for five and 10 days, respectively.

The Mindanao grid was on yellow alert for two days during the month.

In May, the NGCP has declared yellow alerts over the Luzon grid for three days.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) last week ordered the suspension of trading on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) during red alerts to prevent a spike in electricity prices.

Gerry C. Arances, convenor of consumer group Power for People Coalition, welcomed ERC’s decision, saying, “We’d gladly skip even higher electricity prices resulting from outages from burning holes in our pockets.”

“The WESM suspension provides some level of protection to keep that risk at bay,” he said in a statement on Monday.

WESM is the trading floor for non-contracted electricity. The ERC has the power to suspend its operations or declare a temporary WESM failure “in cases of national and international security emergencies or natural calamities” under Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera