NGCP Article

NGCP seeks intervention on summer power situation, appeals for efficient energy use

Published on April 16, 2021 12:00 AM

Despite lower demand for power due to quarantine restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, power transmission operator NGCP continues to call for the power industry’s intervention to help address the impending power supply shortage in Luzon this 2021. 

In August 2020, the Department of Energy (DOE) forecasted a total peak demand of 11,841 MegaWatts (MW) for Luzon to occur in May 2021, a slight increase from the actual 2020 peak load of 11,103MW which occurred last March 9, 2020. 

For Visayas and Mindanao, peak demand for both regions occurred in January 2020, and not during the usual months of November or December, mainly due to the effect of the pandemic.

Grid

2020 Actual Peak

2021 Forecast Peak

Luzon

11,103 MW (March 9, 2020, 2:11PM)

11,841MW

Visayas

2,201 MW (Jan. 29, 2020, 1:55PM)

2,394MW

Mindanao

1,977 MW (Jan. 28, 2020, 2:00PM)

2,098MW


Thin operating margin (MW) is forecasted in the Luzon grid from April to August 2021 due to multiple power plants on extended outage, thereby providing limited power supply. Technical limitations brought about by the pandemic such as delay in delivery of materials or spare parts, temporary work stoppage, and travel restrictions were stated as some of the reasons for the plants’ extended outages. NGCP maintains an annual Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP) which schedules the preventive maintenance of power plants, taking into consideration the needed supply vis-a-vis projected demand. 

The projected shortage may possibly not occur if the forecasted peak demand for this year will not be realized as a result of the quarantine restrictions placed in several parts of the country, particularly in Metro Manila which is the load center of the Luzon grid, and assuming no further plant outages will occur during the period.

“We continue to urge the authorities to look into this impending power situation in Luzon during this summer season. As the transmission service provider, NGCP can only guarantee the dispatch of all and any available grid resources. It cannot intervene on matters concerning power generation,” NGCP stated.

The Luzon grid needs around 4% of the peak demand, or around 475MW in regulating power to stabilize the grid. It also needs to maintain power equivalent to the largest plant online of about 647MW as contingency power to support the grid in case of an emergency power plant shutdown. Once the net operating margin falls below these numbers, NGCP will issue grid alert notices. To certain conditions, this would mean implementation of manual load dropping or rotating power interruptions to protect the integrity of the power grid. 

In line with this, NGCP also appeals to the public to use electricity efficiently and help prevent any occurrence of power interruptions due to the lean supply especially in the summer months. 

To alleviate possible power shortages, NGCP encourages simple conservation practices which include the following:

  • Unplug appliances from outlets when not in use. Appliances on standby mode still consume electricity.
  • Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or LED bulbs. 
  • Keep air conditioners at 25°C. Close doors and windows before opening the air conditioner.
  • Regularly clean fan blades and air conditioner filters. Air conditioner condensers must be cleaned every 6 months or earlier, depending on usage. 
  • Defrost refrigerators when freezer ice reaches ¼ inch. Make sure refrigerator doors are tightly closed. 
  • Shift electricity-heavy household duties such as using the washing machine and ironing to off-peak periods (before 11AM and after 7PM).

NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders and Vice Chairman of the Board Henry Sy, Jr. and Co-Vice Chairman Robert Coyiuto, Jr.###