NGCP urges government to address impending power shortage

NGCP is calling for the intervention of government agencies to address the power shortage looming over the Luzon Grid in the coming summer of 2020. The Department of Energy forecasts a total System Peak Demand of 12,285 MegaWatts (MW) for Luzon to occur in May 2020, an increase of 8.3% from the actual 2019 peak demand of 11,344MW which occurred on 21 June 2019, according to the NGCP official statement provided to newsmen by Regional Corporate Communication Officer Fely Francisco.

Thin electricity supply is forecasted between April to June 2020, even with an expected incoming 700MW capacity from new power plants. The Luzon grid needs around 4% of the peak demand, or around 491MW in regulating power to stabilize the grid; it also needs to maintain power equivalent to the largest plant online (usually equivalent to 647MW) as contingency power to support the grid in case of an emergency power plant shutdown. Should the net operating margin fall below these numbers, NGCP will issue a yellow alert, the company said. Further, if the power supply falls below the System Peak Demand, a red alert will be issued.

This means that load dropping or rotating power interruptions may be implemented to protect the integrity of the power grid. Power supply takes more than just a plus-minus strategy. Types of power technology, power plant location, use habits and trends, and lead times for installation of additional capacity must be taken into account when developing the country’s power development plan. Otherwise, the default strategy will always revert to stop gap measures, explained NGCP. With the increase in power demand, lack of new baseload plants, power plants de-commissioning and longer unplanned maintenance shutdowns of aging plants, as well as the unpredictable weather, NGCP is urging the authorities to focus efforts on stemming what seems to be an impending power shortage in Luzon, especially during the summer season. As the Transmission Network

Provider and System Operator, NGCP performs its functions within the bounds of its mandate. We cannot provide or implement solutions to a generation deficiency-induced shortage, NGCP appealed. Under the EPIRA, NGCP cannot intervene on issues in the generation and distribution sectors. Its responsibility is limited to the operations and maintenance of the power transmission network. Francisco is regularly updating local newsmen on advisories and projects of NGCP.

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