Four provinces in the Visayas suffered a seven-hour blackout on Thursday because of multiple power line trippings, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said.
National Grid said in an advisory it completed the restoration of power transmission services in the Visayas grid at 9 a.m. Thursday.
“Visayas had multiple line trippings. NGCP is still investigating but power was restored at 9 a.m. Thursday. It is not summer,” Energy Department director Mylene Capongcol said, as she denied that the limited supply of power at the start of the dry period caused the power interruption.
National Grid, which operates the country’s transmission network, said “partial loss of power earlier occurred at 1:45 a.m. in Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Samar Islands.”
It said restoration immediately started in the affected islands but there was no firm result of the cause of the power loss.
“Inspection and analysis of the root cause of power is ongoing,” National Grid said.
Meanwhile, Mindanao was short of power by 103 megawatts on Thursday, with system peak demand at 1,374 megawatts, against the capacity of 1,271 MW.
Luzon had ample reserves of over 1,000 MW with system capacity at 8,448 MW and demand at 6,709 MW.
The Energy Department said several new power plants in Luzon could deliver nearly 835 megawatts of capacity and help ease the expected tight supply of electricity during the dry months.
The department said these new powers projects would augment the capacity of other existing power plants that could provide additional capacity. The agency said it was monitoring the Malaya thermal plant overhaul, one of the critical projects, which was now 50-percent completed.
Another critical project, the 135-MW Puting Bato coal project, is ongoing testing but commissioning was delayed due to boiler tube repair, it said.
A 150-MW coal plant of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. is also due for completion by end of March. Testing and commissioning are ongoing, it said.
“DoE assisted in endorsing the concern of SLPGC to First Gas Power Corp. to use the facility in Calaca switchyard,” it said.
The 100-MW Avion natural gas plant is expected to start commercial operation in May 2015 but the department said the operation “might be affected by testing and commissioning of SLPGC.”
Millenium Energy Inc.’s 100-MW Navotas gas turbine power project is targeted for commercial operation on March 15. The department said it “assisted in securing ECC [environmental compliance certificate], COC [certificate of compliance] and other permits as well as in negotiating with Manila Electric Co. regarding interconnection and wheeling charge agreement.”
The South Luzon, Avion and Millenium projects are considered critical projects during the dry period.