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NGCP asks authorities to look into projected Luzon power supply shortage

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has asked authorities to look into an expected power supply shortage in the Luzon grid, citing projections of thin operating margins which will lead to limited supply.

“We continue to urge the authorities to look into this impending power situation in Luzon during this summer season, the privately-led grid operator said in a press release issued on Friday.

As a transmission service provider, the NGCP said it can only guarantee the dispatch of grid resources, but cannot “intervene on matters concerning power generation.”

Citing the Energy department’s estimates as of August 2020, the NGCP said the Luzon grid is projected to reach a peak of 11,841 megawatts (MW) in May 2021.

“Thin operating margin 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,” the NGCP said.

It explained the projected shortage will most likely not take place if the forecasted peak demand is not reached, given the existing quarantine restrictions and assuming no further plant outages will happen during the period.

“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,” the NGCP said.

On Friday, the NGCP also asked the public to conserve electricity by unplugging appliances from outlets when not in use, keeping air conditioning units at 25 degrees Celsius, and regularly cleaning fan blades or cooling unit filters, among others. — Angelica Y. Yang

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