Power plants in Luzon on red alert on election day

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2013 06:59 PM | Updated as of May 11 2013 02:59 AM

MANILA, Philippines - All power plants in Luzon are on red alert until next week in connection with the upcoming elections.

Philippine Independent Power Producers Association president Ernesto Patangco said they are on heightened alert not because of the shutdown or generation stoppage but to ensure everything will be fine on election day (May 13).

However, based on Department of Energy's data, several plants are on forced or planned outage. A total of almost a thousand megawatts of electricity is unavailable due to the forced shutdown of Calaca unit 1, BacMan Geothermal, Limay and Quezon Power plants.  Plants on planned outages could have delivered 766 megawatts of additional capacity.

This is why as of Friday, the whole system is still on yellow alert, meaning there is thin electricity reserves.

While the DOE said they don't expect demand to pick up on election day, it still asked consumers to reduce usage of appliances to make sure there is more than enough reserve supply.

All major shopping malls in the country are doing their share to reduce electricity consumption on election day.

SM malls are opening at 12 noon on Monday, instead of 10 a.m., and will close at 9 p.m.

In a letter to Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia said the malls will use generators on election day.

"In coordination with, and as directed by our respective distribution utilities, SM Supermalls will undertake voluntary load curtailment and use of generators during this period," Garcia said.
Robinsons will also open at 12 noon and close at 9 p.m.

"Robinsons Malls nationwide will open at 12:00 noon on May 13, Monday.  Also, Robinsons malls will be ready to operate its generator sets if needed to support the country's present power situation," the company said.

All seven major Ayala Malls in the country are opening at 10 a.m. but it will use their own generator sets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Supermarket chain Puregold says they are also responding positively to the DOE's call for energy conservation during election day by suspending their back office operations on that day to minimize the use of electricity.