By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 11, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Luzon grid was placed on alert yesterday due to insufficient power supply after some generating facilities tripped following the earthquakes that jolted Batangas and parts of Luzon over the weekend.
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as available capacity was at 9,515 megawatts while peak demand was at 8,926 MW.
The grid status was elevated to red alert from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. as the demand increased to 9,370 MW while available capacity was only at 9,300 MW.
A yellow alert means contingency reserves are below the minimum level, but it may not necessarily lead to power outages. A red alert means there is severe power deficiency.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the Luzon grid is likely to remain on yellow alert until tomorrow. He said the demand is expected to ease when people start leaving Metro Manila for their Holy Week break.
In a briefing yesterday, Fuentebella said the Luzon grid lost a total of 2,905 MW, of which 1,570 MW were from plants affected by the quakes.
Fuentebella said those affected by the quakes were Avion 2 (50 MW), San Lorenzo 1 and 2 (500 MW), San Gabriel (420 MW) and Ilijan Block B (600 MW).
Calaca 2 (300 MW) and SLPGC (150 MW) were also affected, but were able to reconnect to the grid.
First Gen Corp., the owner of Avion, San Lorenzo and San Gabriel, said the gas plants were not damaged by the quakes.
However, the tremors affected various components of the San Lorenzo switchyard, which connects the plants to the Luzon grid.
“The company is working on an interim solution to restore the operability of the San Lorenzo switchyard and resume operation of the San Lorenzo, San Gabriel and Avion power plants,” First Gen said.
The Department of Energy (DOE) ordered the immediate restoration of power facilities affected by the quakes.
Meanwhile, several power facilities were on planned outage. These are Calaca Unit 1 (300 MW), Pagbilao Unit 1 (382 MW), Angat Auxiliary Unit 4 (6 MW), Avion Unit 1 (50 MW) and Magat Units 3 and 4 (180 MW).
Makban Unit 5 (55 MW) was on forced outage due to high turbine vibration and Pagbilao Unit 2 (382 MW) due to boiler tube leak.
The DOE instructed the operation of Malaya Units 1 and 2 thermal power plant to augment power supply.