MANILA - Cold storage facilities of COVID-19 vaccines in Luzon must be ready to continue operating as rotating power outages began Monday afternoon, the energy department said.
The power outages in parts of Metro Manila, Isabela, Quezon, Camarines Sur, the entire province of Quirino, and Olongapo City will extend from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. before system operators including Meralco, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, and other power distributors rotate the outages to other areas.
The outages should last for less than an hour as system operators and power distributors balance out supply from power plants coming back on stream, Energy Undersecretary William Fuentebella said.
“All facilities that are storing vaccines should have their back up gen sets. We would like to call on our partner facilities to have that triple back up system. DOE should be properly informed how we can address any problems, as much as possible, immediately," he said.
The rotation of power outages began after power reserves dropped below 400 megawatts due to high heat index that created more demand for electricity to power cooling systems, according to the Department of Energy.
Aside from the high heat index, another problem was the extension of scheduled maintenance work, and unscheduled outages at key power plants in Luzon.
Low gas pressure from the Malampaya, a critical supply source for gas fired power plants in Luzon, also contributed to the problems.
The entire Luzon grid went on yellow alert at 11 a.m. Monday, and Red Alert at 1 p.m.
"There is a possibility that this yellow and red alert will still last for the next couple of days," Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola said.
--Report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News