No ‘red alert’ alert warning on power supply this 2023, DOE says

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2023 04:53 PM

Line men from an electrical contractor check electric meters at the Divisoria area in Manila on September 12, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Line men from an electrical contractor check electric meters at the Divisoria area in Manila on September 12, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Energy (DOE) assured the public on Friday that there would be no "red alert" warning on the country’s power supply for the entire year. 

Energy Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said only “yellow alerts” are expected to be raised in different parts of the country. 

Red alert is raised when there is insufficient power supply, which could lead to outages. Yellow alert, on the other hand, means thin power reserves which may not lead to rotational brownouts.

The official said they expect power demand to reach 13,125 megawatts this year in Luzon alone.

Watch more News on iWantTFC

“Dahil sa tinatawag natin na forced outages or scheduled outage o shutdown ng mga power plants, magkakaroon tayo posible ng 15 yellow alerts ngayong taon sa Luzon pero zero ang ating red alert," Guevarra said in a televised briefing. 

"Posibleng bumaba pa itong number na 15 yellow alerts dahil posibleng magkaroon na tayo ng kuryente mula Visayas na around 250 megawatts. At posibleng papaandar na iyong liquified natural gas terminal sa Batangas na magkakaroon na tayo ng dagdag na 1,200 megawatts,” she added. 

(Due to forced outages or scheduled outage or shutdown of power plants, it's possible that we will have 15 yellow alerts this year in Luzon, but we will have zero red alert. This could go down to 15 yellow alerts due to a possible additional 250 megawatts in Visayas, and a liquified natural gas terminal in Batangas could provide 1,200 more megawatts.)

There will be no yellow or red alerts in Visayas during daytime, the official added even as the island group requires up to 2,690 megawatts of power supply. 

This is different in nighttime though, as Visayas may expect up to 5 yellow alerts, she said. 

In Mindanao, peak demand may reach 2,395 megawatts, but no yellow or red alert would be raised even during the hot season.

Backups are ready in the event that power plants experience forced or unscheduled outage, she said. 

“Naka-schedule po iyan at nag-agree po ang ating mga generators kung kailan nila gagawin ito. At sa summer, dapat ay wala," she said. 

"Pero kung magkaroon naman ng forced outage, kailangan po tayo magpatakbo ng tinatawag natin na diesel power plants, tapos pwede rin tayo magpatakbo ng mga battery energy storage system at natural gas power plants." 

(Those are scheduled and generators agreed on when. There should be none in the summer. But if there is forced outage, we need to run our so-called diesel power plants, battery energy storage system and natural gas power plants.)

Guevara also noted that new plants would be added to the power generation mix. New transmission lines would also be opened to address congestion in the distribution of energy.

“Ang inaasahan po natin na magsipasok po ang tinatawag natin na for renewable energy, ine-expect natin papasok na around 1,000 megawatts ngayon taon. At sa battery storage energy system mayroon po tayong 1,000 megawatts din po na posibleng pumasok,” she said.
“Iyon pong Mindanao-Visayas interconnection project ay makakapagdaan ng 450 megawatts na kuryente mula Mindanao papuntang Visayaas na posibleng hanggang Luzon,” she said. 

(We expect our renewable energy sector to bring in around 1,000 megawatts this year. The may also yield battery storage energy system. The Mindanao-Visayas interconnection project will transmit 450 megawatts of power from Mindanao to Visayas, and possibly up to Luzon.)

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) earlier warned that the entire month of May may be under yellow alert, with the agency saying the conditions could worsen if there are unexpected plant outages.

The DOE's projection factors in a forced outage of 500-600 MW but based on historical data, there were instances when the grid lost more than 4,000 MW of power supply due to emergency shutdowns which according to the NGCP, cannot be predicted.