Transmission operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines on Monday declared the Mindanao grid on red alert, as electricity reserves fell below zero following the bombing of power lines that isolated two major hydro power plants.
National Grid said in an advisory it put the Mindanao grid on red alert because of the isolation of Agus 1 and Agust 2 hydropower plants.
It said that as of 1 p.m. on Jan. 4, Mindanao’s net reserves were projected at a deficit of 86 megawatts and negative 35 MW during afternoon and evening peak hours.
“As expected, power consumption for today spiked as classes and work resume. Last Jan. 1, NGCP placed the Mindanao grid on yellow alert despite lower power demand,” it said.
The generation plants, with a combined maximum capacity of 150 MW, are disconnected from the grid due to the bombing of tower 25 along Agus 2- Kibawe 138kV line in Ramain, Lanao del Sur on Christmas eve.
“Restoration was halted due to failed negotiation with landowner of the property where the facility is located. The owner refused NGCP entry to repair the toppled tower, alleging that the government failed to pay his claims long ago,” it said.
National Grid said that apart from the isolation of Agus 1 and 2 hydro power plants, the Pulangi hydro facility could generate only around 100 MW of power due to technical constraints, while the three units of Agus 6 hydro plant were on forced outage, further aggravating the supply situation.
“NGCP is appealing to the public, local and national government, PNP and AFP to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted. The company also appeals to local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings, and to negotiate with uncooperative landowners, to prevent longer power interruptions,” it said.
National Grid earlier warned that the failure to restore the tower would further aggravate the supply deficiency in the region which could result in longer rotation brownouts.
Around 15 transmission towers were bombed by unidentified groups in 2015.
National Grid operates and maintains the country’s transmission network under a concession agreement with the government.