Luzon grid to brace red warnings this summer

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Power consumers in the Luzon grid should prepare for potential “red alert” from the last week of April until the third week of May as high demand and thin supply conditions are seen during the summer season, Energy Department (DOE) said Friday.

Advertising The red alert is projected to rise over the Luzon grid from the 18th week to the 21st week of the year or from April 18th to May 22nd, based on the DOE’s power situation forecast.

The Department of Energy indicated that a further capacity of 256 megawatts (MW) to 821 MW is needed to prevent both red and yellow warnings.

Red alert refers to a state of the network when there is zero ancillary operation or inadequate reserves to sustain power demand spikes.

Yellow alert refers to a situation where the reserves are less than the capacity of Luzon’s biggest online facility, which is 647 megawatts.

Based on the DOE’s demand projection, the 2020 peak demand for Luzon is 12,285 megawatts (MW), for Visayas 2,519 MW, and for Mindanao, 2,278 MW.

During a press conference in Taguig City, DOE spokesman and undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella called for all industry stakeholders to cooperate fully in monitoring and responding to power supply situations.

For his part, Mario Marasigan, director of the DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau addressed measures to prevent power disruption.

According to Marasigan, the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) offers distribution utilities (DUs), such as Meralco and ILP introducing electrical cooperatives, the option to collaborate with their high-load customers to voluntarily minimize their electricity demand, and/or use their respective (back-up) generator sets to meet their power requirements to help ease grid demand.

Such a system can be triggered once a red alert status is announced by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which notifies all future ILP participants.

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