Yellow alert in Luzon grid likely next week

THE LUZON GRID is expected to have a shortfall in power reserves starting next week to mid-June, with a yellow alert likely to be raised on Monday.
“Our outlook provides that for that week, the fourth week of April or the 17th week of the year, we have a potential yellow alert,” Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said in a Zoom interview on Tuesday.
Yellow alerts are issued when reserves fall below a designated safety margin, while red alerts are raised when the supply-demand balance deteriorates further, signaling the possibility of rotational brownouts.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said the power outlook for the summer is “very tight.”
“Multiple yellow alert issuances are indeed possible within the year,” the ICSC said in its latest report.
Jephraim C. Manansala, chief data scientist at ICSC, said generating capacity is expected to be lower starting the week of April 24-30 to June 12-18.
“The supply can further deplete as forced outages of large baseload power plants can unexpectedly occur in these times, likely pushing the system into yellow alert and near red alert levels,” Mr. Manansala said in a statement.
Power demand typically surges during summer months. The Department of Energy (DoE) projected a peak demand of 13,125 megawatts (MW) in May.
While the projection of ICSC is in line with the DoE’s power outlook, Ms. Guevara said it is worth noting that there are two yellow alerts in their projection that did not occur.
“Yes [a yellow alert is] most likely but what is happening now is that there are yellow alerts that did not occur,” she said.
Ms. Guevara said that based on the DoE’s initial assumption, there are 10 yellow alerts remaining for this year.
In March, the DoE raised its 2023 power outlook to 15 yellow alerts in the Luzon power grid from its earlier projection of only 12 yellow alerts.
Mr. Manansala said that the government and industry players should ensure that generators are compliant with the grid operating and maintenance program (GOMP) of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to prevent supply from deteriorating further.
NGCP has said that any unplanned shutdowns outside GOMP may have an impact on the supply-demand situation.
Ms. Guevara also ruled out the possibility of power outages but only “if all the generators follow the GOMP, we do not expect red alerts in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.”
Mr. Manansala said that the government must also ensure ancillary services (AS) or power reserves are sufficient to ensure that a red alert will not happen.
To recall, the NGCP has warned of possible power interruptions this summer after the ERC denied its request to extend its monthly AS agreements.
The regulator is expected to act on NGCP’s request for a monthly AS agreement extension before end-April.
“We need the cooperation of consumers in ensuring the continuous supply of electricity in Luzon, which includes implementing energy-saving measures in the workplace, shifting energy-intensive activities to non-peak hours, and upgrading to more efficient technologies in homes, commercial and industrial establishments to help balance the power supply in the grid and reduce the risk of power outages,” Mr. Manansala said.
Mr. Manansala said the country’s energy security will also rely on the recommissioning of San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corp.’s Ilijan natural gas plant.
The 1,200-megawatt Ilijan plant is due to start using imported gas. San Miguel Global Power expects its liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment, which will be used for Ilijan, to arrive this month. — Ashley Erika O. Jose