Electricity consumers of the Luzon grid could be spared from outages during the hot dry season despite thinning reserves as several power plants have gone offline.
In a press briefing on Thursday, April 22, Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola explained that demand has been consistently below target since January.
"We will have sufficient levels of supply as long as there are no additional outages from big plants or several small plants," said Delola in a mix of English and Filipino.
According to the power outlook by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, the government expects demand to peak in the third week of May at 11,841 megawatts (MW).
Delola said, however, that this forecast may not be reached as the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines, the spot market operator, expects peak demand to reach only 10,511 MW.
"If we maintain the same [demand] profile, we will have enough reserves for the summer months. Even if we reach 11,000 MW, we will still have sufficient reserves. The worst case is we experience yellow alerts for two periods," Delola added.
A yellow alert – where power reserves fall below the required level but outages are not expected – may be raised over the Luzon grid within weeks 15 to 18 (second week of April to second week of May) and weeks 21 to 25 (fourth week of May to fourth week of June).
"The first period of the supposed yellow alert includes this week but we haven't experienced it," Delola said in Filipino.
Currently, 7 power plants are offline – 5 of which were forced outages. The Department of Energy (DOE) has since directed the following generation companies to specify when the plants would be able to resume operations:
Energy Undersecretary Felix Fuentebella on Thursday reminded industry players to follow government policies to ensure energy security during the peak quarter.
"What we're saying is that participating players should see that providing electricity is a serious matter.… Any foreseeable problem shouldn't have a fallible solution. The policies are there and it's a matter of enforcement. These are a combination of policies that everyone should comply with," the DOE official said. – Rappler.com