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‘Yellow alert’ on low power; water bills cut

Grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines has placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert for several hours on Monday due to insufficient operating reserves amid the forced and unplanned outages of power plants.

NGCP made the move even as Manila Water Services released a partial list of the villages that were “severely affected” by the water supply shortage that was experienced in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province last month.

NGCP issued the yellow alert notice, which means that the reserve power is low, starting from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then again at 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

The yellow alert was lifted at  3:30 p.m. due to sufficient operating reserves brought about by low demand.

The Department of Energy said it was coordinating with the power industry players to ensure the delivery of electricity to consumers. 

What includes the facilitation of incoming plants that are undergoing commissioning and testing, such as Masinloc 3 for Luzon and Therma Visayas 2 for the Visayas.

Power distributor Manila Electric Co. assured its customers that when there is a shortage of power supply, participants of the interruptible load program can deload from the grid and use their generating sets.

“In case of supply deficiency, corporations and commercial establishments participating under the ILP program are ready to use their generator sets to help prevent/minimize incidents of power outage,” Meralco said.

Meralco and NGCP urged the public to use energy more efficiently especially in summer when power the supply is lean.

Most hydropower plants have lower generation capacity during the dry months while demand goes up, thus tightening supply.

The power plant that went on a forced outage included Masinloc 2 (344 MW) while the plants that went on an unplanned outage included Pagbilao 1 (382 MW), SLTEC 1 (150 MW) and Malaya 2 (350 MW).

There are also power plants that were derated or had been operating below capacity: Calaca 2 at 200 MW from 300 MW, SLPGC 2 at 100 MW from 150 MW, and Pagbilao 3 at 315 MW from 420 MW.

Meanwhile, Calaca 1 (300 MW) is still on a scheduled outage maintenance until June.

Power demand is expected to hit an all-time high with demand forecasts reaching 11,403 megawatts for Luzon this year.

The Department of Energy’s Power Development Plan forecasts demand to go up by 4.85 percent this year from the actual peak demand of 10,876 MW registered on May 28, 2018.

Listed below are the villages that were validated as severely affected by the water supply shortage:

MANDALUYONG

Barangay Addition Hills

Barangay Barangka Drive

Barangay Plainview

Barangay Highway Hills

Barangay Hulo

PASIG

Barangay Kapitolyo

Barangay Bagong Ilog

Barangay Oranbo

TAGUIG

Barangay Upper Bicutan

RIZAL

Barangay Mambog in Binangonan

Around 152,000 households from 44 severely affected barangays will be given a full bill waiver for their March consumption as announced by Manila Water last week. This will be reflected on their April bill.

The utility company said the minimum charge in the April bill will be fully waived if the residents experienced water service outage for at least seven days, whether consecutive or not.

The minimum charge is equivalent to the value of 10 cubic meters of water, which ranges from P76 to P656, depending on whether the supply is for domestic or industrial use.

The one-time full waiver, however, does not apply to any previous unpaid amount of consumers. 

Topics: National Grid Corporation of the Philippines , yellow alert , Manila Water Services , Department of Energy
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