Grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines expects power supply to normalize by September once the hydropower plants come back online during the rainy season and when most power plants complete their maintenance operations.
NGCP division head for power network planning Fidel Dagsaan Jr. said the power situation will likely normalize by September as the power plants are expected to come online by August or September.
Dagsaan said rainy season arrives in June or July thus the hydro plants can then operate once water levels increase.
“During summer, coal plants are not on maintenance, it’s the hydros. When the hydros come back, it is the turn of the coal plants to do maintenance. It will normalize by September,” he said.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella, for his part, said NGCP is projecting the highest demand of 11,400 megawatts during the week of May 20 to 24.
“The projection remains at 11,400 MW next week from May 20 to 24. There is ample supply if no plants go on outage,” Fuentebella said, adding that supply is expected to reach 12,171 MW by next week.
Fuentebella said the Department of Energy will still revisit the causer’s pay mechanism, which provides penalties for power plants that go on forced outages.
However, he said DOE is still urging investors to continue to build more plants as demand is expected to continue to go up while there are also new markets for their available capacity.
“It’s not only the DUs, there is also the retail competition and open access, green energy option, replacement power. They can also sell to the spot market. We are inviting more investors because we want competition,” he said.
Fuentebella said DOE is also looking at directing the generators to allocate 30 percent of their capacity replacement power.
“All of them the maximum contracted will be 70 percent only,” the official said.
The Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert on Wednesday, the sixth time in May due thin operating reserves. NGCP placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert from 9am to 4pm as available capacity was placed at 11,845 MW versus peak demand of 11,214 MW.