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Red alert on power grid possible this week — DoE

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said a red alert on the power grid is possible this week due to continuing elevated heat and forced outages at some power plants.

“This week, there is still a possibility for a red alert,” Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said on the sidelines of an Asian Development Bank forum on Tuesday.

Ms. Guevara said the Energy department has urged power plant operators whose facilities are on forced outage or running derated to bring their plants into full operation as soon as possible.

With the start of the rainy season, Ms. Guevara said the department “expects demand to decline,” reducing the likelihood of red and yellow alerts.

In an advisory early Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and 12 midnight.

The grid operator estimated peak demand on Tuesday at 13,612 megawatts (MW), against available capacity of 14,461 MW.

A total of 14 power plants have been on forced outage and four plants are running derated, resulting in 2,280.8 MW left unavailable to the grid.

Apart from forced outages and limited capacities, the NGCP said the Angat main power generating facility was also unavailable due to low water levels.

The NGCP also noted the increase in forecast demand by about 600 MW compared to the previous day.

“The Visayas and Mindanao grids are operating normally,” the grid operator said.

In a statement on Tuesday, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said it obtained commitments from Pioneer Float Glass Manufacturing, Inc. and Anglo Watsons Glass, Inc. to reduce their power draw from the grid under the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

ILP participants are large power users that maintain their own backup generators. When supply is tight, they activate their generators, reducing overall demand on the grid.

Meralco said Pioneer Float Glass will sign a deal to deload 2 ME when needed. The arrangement involves its manufacturing plant in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.

Meralco said that Pioneer Float Glass voluntarily de-loaded 1.5 MW without compensation during the red alerts in April.

Meanwhile, Anglo Watsons has yet to finalize its participation but voluntarily de-loaded 1.3 MW during the red alert on May 28.

Once fully enrolled, it will reduce its draw from the grid by 2.3 MW at its facility in Calamba, Laguna.

The ILP commitments were a result of Meralco’s engagement of key industries including the Glass Manufacturers Association of the Philippines.

“These commitments reflect our shared dedication to alleviating strain on the power grid, ultimately benefiting thousands of small businesses and households by minimizing rotational power interruptions,” Meralco Vice-President and Head of Enterprise and National Government Ma. Cecilia M. Domingo said.

At present, over 100 companies have enrolled in the ILP representing more than 500 MW in capacity for de-loading within the Meralco franchise area.

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