Consumers may experience additional power outages in the next few days due to the continued shutdown of several power plants and higher temperatures pushing up demand, Department of Energy officials said Monday.
Luzon experienced rotating power outages starting at 1:11 p.m. Monday after grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines announced it was implementing manual load dropping amid the lack of power supply.
NGCP placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on red alert from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Affected areas include parts of Ilocos Norte, La Union, Zambales, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Albay and Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, some 500,000 customers of the Manila Water Company Inc. are set to experience a 10-hour service interruption this week as the company conducts maintenance operations.
In an advisory, Manila Water said it will cut and plug its old 500mm mainline along Ortigas Avenue near EDSA in Barangay Ugong Norte, Quezon City.
The interruption will start at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2, and will last until 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2021.
This will affect a population of 500,000 in 110,355 households, and commercial and business establishments across 39 barangays in Metro Manila.
Among the affected areas in Meralco’s franchise area are Caloocan, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig, Valenzuela, Lucena, and parts of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said DOE is coordinating with the power distributors and the local government units to ensure vaccine supply will not be affected by the outages.
"There should be triple back up for facilities storing COVID vaccines.
That being the situation we have to call on those that will be affected, the facilities storing the vaccines should have their back up gen sets ready. We also call on their partner facilities to call on their back up," Fuentebella said.
Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola said several power plants continue to be on an extended shutdown after suffering technical problems while hydro facilities.
Delola said the Luzon grid's reserves level was at 1,000 megawatts (MW) to 1,200 MW in the past weeks, but this fell to 400 MW to 600 MW, eventually falling to below 400 MW on Monday afternoon.
Reserves further dropped to zero prompting the implementation of manual load dropping.
Also on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law extending the lifeline rate or subsidies for marginalized power consumers for another 50 years.
Under Republic Act 11521, discounted rates will be granted to marginalized power consumers which include: those qualified household-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and consumers who were certified as marginalized by their distribution utilities.
The discounted rates will be funded by non-lifeline consumers.