With the forthcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) assures the public of the availability of sufficient power supply across the country before, during, and after the elections.
Measures are also in place to prevent any unscheduled power outages that may disrupt the voting, as well as the counting process.
While there are two potential yellow alerts in Luzon for this week and the week of the elections, the DOE Energy Task Force Election has been instructed early on to coordinate with the generating companies and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to ensure the availability of generating units to meet the demand and required reserves during said period. Suspension of preventive maintenance and testing of generating units one week before and after the elections will be strictly enforced.
The demand forecast in Luzon for the week of elections is at 12,257 MW. However, the current demand is only 10,500 MW to 11,500 MW, where electricity consumptions during the fourth quarter period is generally lower. With this, we have a buffer of at least 700 MW.
The DOE Task Force has also coordinated closely with the generation companies and the NGCP to facilitate the timely completion and seamless entry of power projects, as well as critical transmission line projects, should there be any.
The NGCP was likewise directed to utilize the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) and the Mindanao Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) during peak hours to balance the power supply and demand system of the grid.
Both the Visayas and Mindanao grids, meanwhile, are not expected to experience any alerts.
“Safeguarding the energy needs of the country during the critical electoral process is our foremost concern and we have enlisted the full cooperation of all our stakeholders in the generation, transmission, and distribution sectors in this endeavor. Preparations have been undertaken to ensure that there would be enough power in days leading up to, during, and in the immediate conduct of the elections” Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said.”
Meanwhile, the DOE Energy Task Force Election has also instructed distribution utilities (DUs) to deploy special and emergency line crews to check lines for any obstructions and to ensure that all necessary and correct connections are installed within their franchise areas. Any obstructions in their power distribution lines within their franchise areas could cause unstable flow of electricity in the polling places and canvassing centers, which include public schools and barangay centers.
“As early as now, all DUs must trim trees and remove hazards that can obstruct power lines. They also must secure enough generator sets and flashlights on stand-by in case of unexpected power interruption”, the Secretary stressed.
On the election day proper, the special and emergency line crews will be on standby with the necessary logistical support to immediately respond to emergency cases affecting power supply.
DUs were likewise directed to ensure that all substation facilities and distribution lines are in normal operations to prevent any disruptions in the energy supply.
“It is very important to establish the adequacy of connection and service entrance facilities at polling places and canvassing centers to guarantee uninterrupted power supply”, the Secretary added. ###