MANILA (UPDATE) – The entire Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert Tuesday due to generation deficiency brought about by the Malampaya Natural Gas fuel supply restriction.
The imbalance resulted to the overloading of two transformers at the Dasmarinas Substation serving parts of Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) franchise areas and caused the 2-hour power interruption in parts of Cavite.
Yellow alert status was raised because contingency reserves plunged to 411 megawatts, below the minimum reserve level of 645 megawatts.
Problems at the Malampaya gas facility shaved 250 megawatts from the grid.
Energy Undersecretary Raul Aguilos said three major plants—Pagbilao, Sta. Rita, and Calaca—are also down.
Aguilos said the Malaya plant is now starting to run and will continue to operate for 2 to 5 days depending on the supply situation.
When asked if this will result into higher electricity prices for consumers considering that Malaya runs on diesel fuel, Aguilos said, "Kapag tumakbo ‘yan, somebody has to pay. Otherwise magkakaroon tayo ng problema."
Based on estimates, electricity produced by a thermal plant ranges from P12 to P14 per kilowatt hour while plants running on natural gas produces electricity at around P4/kwh.
But Meralco said the higher priced electricity can still be tempered by the utility's contracts and power supply agreements which limit its exposure to the wholesale electricity spot market.
National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), meanwhile, said the Luzon grid has normalized with an available capacity of 8,771 megawatts and demand of 8,066 megawatts as of 11:55 a.m.
NGCP said the yellow alert was lifted at 3:50 p.m. due to sufficient operating reserve.
BATAAN POWER PLANT
Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla has confirmed that officials of the Korean Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) have been talking with the DOE and Department of Finance (DOF) on their proposal to build a 600-megawatt coal fired power plant within the compound of the Bataan nuclear power plant, which is located on a DOF-owned land.
KEPCO wants to build the 600-megawatt plant beside the mothballed BNPP.
The government has yet to decide what to do with the nuclear plant, and converting it to a coal fired power plant would demolish the chances of it being used in the future as a nuclear plant.
Petilla has vowed to conduct consultations with the people of Bataan to get their views on the proposal.
Meanwhile, United Kingdom’s trade ambassador to the Philippines George Freeman and heads of several UK energy companies met with Petilla to explore possible opportunities to sell their technology in the field of renewable energy.
These include demand side management technology such as smart meters for appliances and gadgets.
The companies also provide risk management services to the energy sector and engineering consultancy on renewable energy.
Petilla spoke to representatives from Lloyd’s Register, OST Energy, SgurrEnergy, NiSoft and Wind Prospect.
"They will not build plants, these are more of technology to use energy efficiently. They want to come here pero on an energy efficiency aspect," said Petilla.
These companies will sell to cooperatives, utilities and consumers alike.