By Lenie Lectura - June 8, 2017
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said on Thursday its comprehensive grid enhancement program has helped prevent the occurrence of power failures during the last summer period, just as when the demand for electricity is at its peak.
This year’s actual electricity demand reached an all-time high of 10,054 megawatts (MW) recorded on May 9 at 2:27 p.m. This surpassed last year’s actual peak demand and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2017 peak demand projection
The total available capacity in May was at 11,444 MW, allowing an operating margin of 1,390 MW.
According to the NGCP, Luzon grid customers did not feel the effect of the steep rise in demand, as improvements on the transmission facilities designed precisely to better manage the grid during peak load periods were implemented by the grid operator in anticipation of this year’s record-breaking power demand.
In particular, the NGCP increased protection for its critical substation equipment, enhanced operating measures of transformers at its San Jose, Dasmariñas, Bolo and Tayabas 500-kiloVolt (kV) substations, and coordinated adjusted capabilities of large generating units, such as Sual, Masinloc, GN Power, Pagbilao, Ilijan and Santa Rita/San Lorenzo.
Potential low voltage problems were also eliminated through the timely energization of capacitor banks, allowing the NGCP’s Luzon System Operations to maintain the system voltage level within the normal limits, even at the height of the summer season.
“The NGCP is pleased to report that, through the foresight of our technical team, we were able to prepare and address early on any potential grid stability issues for the summer period, even as the demand breached the DOE’s projection. With this foresight, our customers enjoyed reliable and uninterrupted quality of power,” the company stated.
As the peak demand season for 2017 nears its end, the NGCP seeks support for its projects aimed at strengthening the grid for the coming years, as it also appeals for better management of power supply, particularly scheduling additional energy sources to increase the thinning supply.
“We want to be able to accommodate the continually growing demand and supply for power in Luzon, not just during the summer season. The support of local government units (LGUs), government agencies, such as [the] DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government], DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources], Laguna Lake Development Authority [LLDA] and the public, will enable the NGCP to complete these projects on time, if not ahead of schedule,” it said.
Part of the NGCP’s load growth projects for Luzon are focused on reinforcing the Western and Eastern Manila backbone, with critical components, such as the 230-kV Pasay Substation, Taguig-Taytay 230-kV line and a 500-kV Taguig Substation.
“These locations have been identified, through careful technical research and feasibility studies, to be the most strategic, being close to the center of load growth. Delaying the implementation of critical projects, like the Pasay substation, will lead to overloading issues and possible power interruptions within Metro Manila,” it said.
The NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr.