DOE raises red alert in Visayas

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2014 01:19 PM | Updated as of May 20 2014 12:54 AM

MANILA - Despite the "red alert" status over the Visayas, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla sees no power interruptions for the whole day.

Based on the website of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said Visayas has zero reserves and with peak demand of 1,569 MW, and a supply of 1,498 MW, there is going to be a deficiency of 71 MW.

But Petilla said the Visayas grid has yet not asked for help from the Luzon grid.

The Luzon grid, which has a reserve of 800 MW today, can share 100 MW of power with the Visayas if needed, he said.

The Visayas raised the "red alert" status after three power plants bogged down, Sual Development Corp. in Cebu, Panay Energy Development Corp. in Iloilo and the EDC plants in Leyte.

Petilla said the interruptible load program is also working in the Visayas, where big businesses use their own generators to limit demand on local cooperatives.

As for the power situation during the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Makati this week, Petilla is not going to guarantee there will be no power interruptions. The WEF will be held on May 21 to 23, which also falls on the "critical days" of the DOE.

He said May 21 and 22 are projected to be the "hottest" days, so a spike in consumption is expected, around 8,600 to 8,700 MW a day.

He appealed to consumers to manage their air conditioning use on May 21 and 22, and if possible they should set it to 25 degrees Celsius, to save on power use.

According to Petilla, the government will not sugarcoat the power situation saying that if a power interruption happens during the forum, then it will happen.

Petilla said the precarious power station will remain until mid-June when demand starts to taper off as summer is also fading.