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NGCP warns of tight power supply in summer

POWER transmission operator NGCP alerts the public of thin power supply this summer due to higher demand in 2023.

The Department of Energy (DOE) forecasted a total peak demand of 13,125 MegaWatts (MW) for Luzon to occur towards the end of May, an 8.35% increase from the actual 2022 peak load of 12,113MW which occurred on 12 May 2022.

For Visayas, the peak demand occurred in September, while in Mindanao, the peak demand occurred in June. A 16.19% increase in demand is forecasted for Visayas this year, while a 10.52% increase is expected for Mindanao.

Thin operating margins (power in excess of demand) from where ancillary services (power used to manage and balance the grid) are taken, are forecasted for this year. For the Luzon grid, these are forecasted from April to June due to the historically high demand during the summer months.

While base case projections show no occurrence of yellow or red alerts, there are weeks between March and April where operating margins are below required levels due to higher demand and planned outages of plants.

NGCP coordinates the preparation and submission to the DOE of an annual Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP), a consolidated preventive maintenance schedule of power plants, with consideration for the needed supply to meet the projected demand. The 2023 GOMP was approved by the DOE on 27 December 2022. In compliance with the DOE directive, no maintenance shutdowns were scheduled during the summer months.

“NGCP coordinates with the generation and distribution sectors to optimize and rationalize maintenance schedules to ensure sufficiency, at least on paper, of power supply throughout the year,” the company said. “Unplanned shutdowns, which are outside of the GOMP, may still have a significant impact on the supply demand profile if, as in the past years, several power plants simultaneously shut down outside of its schedule,” NGCP warned.

A yellow alert is issued when the operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid’s regulating and contingency requirement, which is at 668MW each. A red alert status is issued when supplies are insufficient to meet consumer demand and the transmission grid’s regulating requirement.

“While the GOMP is formulated to ensure adequacy of supply especially during the critical months, there are instances of forced or unplanned outages of plants which may disrupt the normal operations of the grid and warrant the issuance of yellow or red alerts. As transmission service provider, NGCP can only give an overview of the current supply and demand situation, and endeavor to dispatch any and all available grid resources. It cannot intervene on matters concerning power generation,” said NGCP.

To alleviate possible power shortages, NGCP appeals to policy makers to immediately explore demand side management strategies to mitigate any possible supply issues in the coming summer months.


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