(Taguig City). The Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing for the speedy repairs of the major power plants that sustained damage following a swarm of earthquakes that hit Batangas and the adjacent areas to ensure adequate power supply to the Luzon grid.
“We are continuously and closely coordinating with power industry players, especially those on the side of the generation industry for the safe and immediate rehabilitation of the power plants affected by the earthquake last Saturday,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
“Our priority is the safe and quick restoration of the power supply in the Luzon grid following the declaration of a Yellow Alert status today (11 April) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).”
The lost power capacities due to the earthquakes reached 1,570 megawatts (MW) following the forced outages of Avion Unit 2 (50MW), San Lorenzo Units 1 and 2 (500MW), Ilijan B (600MW) and San Gabriel (420MW).
“We are also calling for the ‘Bayanihan’ spirit among the power industry players to fast-track the rehabilitation of the plants,” Cusi added.
To ensure additional power capacity for the Luzon grid, the DOE likewise directed the NGCP to ensure continued operation of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.’s Malaya Units 1 and 2 Thermal Power Plant, with a combined dependable capacity of 450 MW.
In addition, the DOE reported that the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) confirmed a total of 383 Interruptible Load Program (ILP) participants which are ready to run their generator sets with a total capacity of 212 MW once needed.
On the other hand the Visayas and Mindanao Grids have normal power condition.
Cusi appealed to the consumers to use power wisely to help stabilize energy demand particularly during the summer season.
Meanwhile, the DOE said it is currently engaged in talks with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) and other industry players for the mitigating measures pertaining to spikes in the price of power.
According to the report of the PEMC, the current condition of the power market is still normal despite the loss of supply.
PEMC also reported that prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) are within normal level since many are observing Holy Week, which pulls down the demand resulting in lower prices despite reduced power generation.
On the ERC side, the DOE is looking at limiting the “moving average price” in the WESM to five (5) days from originally seven (7) days.
The shorter days mean that the DOE, ERC and PEMC can easily monitor movements in the WESM to protect the consumers from price shocks.