NGCP warns of tight power supply in summer

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 29 2014 09:31 AM | Updated as of Mar 29 2014 05:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the country’s power transmission highway operator, has warned of tight power supply in the summer months as demand continue to surge while more plants will be inoperational.

The grid operator, however, assured that it is ready to transmit whatever power is available to the grid.

“The supply will be tight, but NGCP will be ready to transmit whatever power is available to the grid,” NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said.

The highest peak demand this year is forecast at 8,654 megawatts in May, higher than the previous year’s peak demand of 8,305 MW, data from NGCP showed.

Against this backdrop, several power plants will not be operating from March to May, data from NGCP also showed.

“In Luzon, three power plant units will be on scheduled shutdown and one will be on forced outage during this period from March to May. In the Visayas, two will be on scheduled shutdown and one on forced outage,” it said.

Similarly, the high voltage direct current (HVDC) line linking Luzon (Naga City) and Visayas (Leyte Island) will be shut down for maintenance on April 9 to 21 because the facility’s housing and valve hall at the HVDC station will be reinforced.

However, NGCP said even with this maintenance work, the grid is secure and able to handle the load. Back-up lines are fully operational and ready to deliver available power from the generators.

In Mindanao, one power plant is scheduled to be shut down and two will be on forced outage during the summer months, NGCP also said in its advisory.

Meanwhile, Alabanza assured that their transmission facilities – transmission towers, lines, and substations – are adequate for the transmission of available power to the grid.

To mitigate grid issues related to summer, NGCP as initiated various measures such as the audit of substation equipment and transmission lines all over the country.

Since February, major lines and equipment has been inspected and scanned for defects or abnormalities, which were subsequently evaluated and corrected, the company said.

Furthermore, NGCP’s Reliability and Technical Assessment Department will continue to conduct the technical audit of facilities throughout the year to assist in the operation and maintenance of power transmission equipment.

“These efforts are part of NGCP’s commitment to implement transmission projects that will improve the reliability of the grid,” Alabanza said.