power and water

Rotational blackouts hit Luzon again

Aika Rey

BLACKOUT. A part of the Luzon grid.

LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

(8th UPDATE) The Department of Energy says this is due to the unplanned outage of a power plant

Rotational blackouts hit parts of Luzon again on Tuesday, June 1, as power supply thinned due to an additional plant outage.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid under red alert from 10 am to 5 pm and 6 pm to 11:30 pm – a total of 12 and a half hours.

Rotational blackouts are expected when the grid is under red alert.

Red alert was declared after demand was seen to peak at 11,593 megawatts while the available capacity was only at 11,408 MW – leaving a 185-MW shortfall.

The NGCP lifted the red alert at 11:30 pm. By that time, peak demand was at 9,919 MW while the available capacity was at 10,376 MW.

The Luzon grid was then placed under yellow alert until 1 am on Wednesday, June 2. Earlier, the NGCP also raised a yellow alert in between red alerts, from 5 pm to 6 pm.

A yellow alert is raised when reserves fall below the capacity of the biggest plant in the Luzon grid, but blackouts do not necessarily occur.

The following areas experienced rotational blackouts during the red alert periods on Tuesday:

10 am to 12 pm
  • Baguio City and Benguet
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Quezon
  • Sorsogon
  • Camarines Sur
  • Franchise areas of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) – Bulacan, Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna
12 pm to 1 pm
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Pampanga
  • Batangas
  • Albay
  • Meralco areas
1 pm to 2 pm
  • Pampanga
  • Pangasinan
  • Bataan
  • Batangas
  • Albay
  • Meralco areas
2 pm to 3 pm
  • Isabela
  • Ifugao
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pangasinan
  • Bataan
  • Batangas
  • Camarines Sur
  • Meralco areas
3 pm to 4 pm
  • Cagayan
  • La Union
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Laguna
  • Quezon
  • Sorsogon
  • Meralco areas
4 pm to 5 pm
  • La Union
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Angeles City
  • Quezon
  • Camarines Norte
  • Meralco areas
6 pm to 7 pm
  • Isabela
  • Pampanga
  • Batangas
  • Albay
  • Camarines Sur
  • Meralco areas
7 pm to 8 pm
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Pampanga
  • Batangas
  • Albay
  • Meralco areas
8 pm to 9 pm
  • Ifugao
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Pangasinan
  • Pampanga
  • Batangas
  • Camarines Norte
  • Meralco areas
9 pm to 10 pm
  • Ifugao
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Pangasinan
  • Pampanga
  • Batangas
  • Camarines Sur
  • Meralco areas
Rotational blackouts hit Luzon again

In a statement, the Department of Energy (DOE) attributed the longer red alert periods to the unplanned outage of GMEC coal-fired power plant unit 2 (GMEC 2) which started at 3:56 am.

The DOE said GMEC 2 was down due to a “suspected boiler tube leak.” The plant, rated 316 MW, is expected to be back online by June 8.

So far, total unplanned outages have already resulted in 1,579 MW in lost capacity.

The NGCP raised the red alert over Luzon on Monday, May 31, for the first time since June 2019. Energy officials said there could be alerts “for a couple of days.”

Earlier, the DOE said it was not expecting power outages during the dry season as long as there would be no additional power plant shutdowns. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.