Media Release

The Department of Energy (DOE) today reminds the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to adhere to its responsibilities as System Operator (SO) in ensuring supply security and reliability of the grid. This is in relation to the recent power disturbance in the Panay grid and part of Negros, where SO could have exercised, in a better manner, its responsibility in balancing the said grid.

The power disturbance has cascaded into the entire Western Visayas beginning at past noon of 02 January 2024 with the tripping of Unit 1 of Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) coal-fired power plant due to boiler feed pump issue. Subsequently, Unit 1 of Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) and Unit 2 of PEDC simultaneously tripped due to grid voltage imbalance. Other power plants within the Visayas grid were also affected by the Panay grid disturbances. NGCP is still analyzing the data to determine the cause and order of tripping of the six power plants. 

With the SO monitoring the grid 24/7, NGCP is in a position to immediately coordinate with the power plants to ensure that their respective unit protection and control settings will not cause grid instability that could lead to black outs.

NGCP is in a position to anticipate system disturbance such as what happened yesterday, which unfortunately resulted in the isolation of Panay from the rest of the Visayas grid due to the simultaneous tripping of power plants that caused multiple power interruption affecting other power plants and distribution utilities (DUs), Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said. 

Undersecretary Guevara added that the system disturbance that happened in April last year in the Panay and Negros Sub-grids was already a lesson for all the stakeholders involved, emphasizing that what happened yesterday could have been resolved differently.

Authorized by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to act as an Interim Grid Management Committee (IGMC), the Technical Committee of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (TC-PEMC) was tasked to review the Significant Incident Reports submitted by the NGCP-SO regarding the system disturbances in the Panay and Negros Sub-grids from 27 to 29 April 2023. Some of the recommendations of the IGMC have already been implemented by NGCP. In addition, the completion of the Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) Project by the end of the first quarter of 2024 will further improve grid reliability in Panay and Negros.

Meanwhile, the DOE is continuously coordinating with the NGCP and the affected power plants and DUs on the status of the power plants, including the estimated timeline for the restoration of power supply. 

NGCP is encouraged to be at the forefront in informing the public, especially the people of Western Visayas, on the power situation, including hourly updates and restoration timeline. 

As of 3:00 PM today, 198.1 MW is being served by Panay power plants and augmented by 50.9 MW from other sources in the Visayas, for a total of 245 MW served load. The grid needs about 300 MW to stabilize and is awaiting the remaining plant, PCPC (135 MW) to synchronize back to the grid. The target synchronization of the plant is between 10:00 PM to 12:00 midnight of 04 January 2024. According to the NGCP, load restoration will be done conservatively, by matching loads to restored generation, to prevent repeated voltage failure. ###