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Yellow alerts raised over Luzon

YELLOW ALERTS were declared over the Luzon grid Thursday, breaking a run of three days of red alerts, as the gap between available capacity and demand widened, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

In an advisory, the NGCP said the Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Peak demand hit 12,478 megawatts (MW) against the available capacity of 13,591 MW.

A total of 3,154.3 MW were unavailable to the grid as 16 power plants have been on forced outage and eight are running derated.

The NGCP said capacity was boosted by additional solar power of around 200 MW and high-voltage direct current imports from the Visayas.

“The Visayas and Mindanao grids are under normal conditions,” the grid operator said.

A yellow alert is issued when the operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid’s contingency requirement, the NGCP.

With the improvement in the overall supply situation, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said that it did not resort to manual load dropping or rotational power interruptions despite the declaration of a red alert on Luzon Wednesday.

The energy company said its commercial and industrial customers participating in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) collectively de-loaded more than 260 MW.

With the declaration of the yellow alerts, Meralco advised ILP participants to be on standby in case the situation escalates to a red alert.

“We also call on the public to continue implementing energy conservation and efficiency practices to help manage overall demand. We are actively monitoring the situation and will provide updates as needed,” Meralco Spokesperson and Head of Corporate Communications Joe R. Zaldarriaga said.

Separately, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ordered the lifting of the suspension of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market for Luzon.

“The Commission made the decision based on its continuous monitoring and assessment of the conditions of the grid, as well as on information gathered from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines – System Operator (NGCP-SO) and Independent Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP),” the ERC said in a statement.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera