The Department of Energy on Thursday assured there would be no power outages in the coming dry months, but called for demand-side management to address the anticipated thin supply.
“Our power outlook for summer—there is a thin difference between supply and demand…As of now, based on the power outlook that we released last January, we do not see that [blackout] situation,” DOE Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said during the Laging Handa briefing.
“We are looking only at possible yellow alerts in Luzon and Visayas, but not brownouts,” Guevara said.
This developed as the National Power Corp. deferred the implementation of the proposed reduction of operating hours in the Small Power Utilities Group plants following discussions with stakeholders and customers.
The NPC said it was waiting for the sovereign guarantee from the Office of the President for its loan application with state-run Land Bank of the Philippines.
It said it was also waiting for additional fund from the universal charge for missionary electrification which the Energy Regulatory Commission agreed to expedite. The NPC is scheduled to make a presentation with the Development Budget Coordinating Committee on the funding shortfall.
Guevara said DOE had prepared contingencies in case of unscheduled plant shutdowns.
“We have baseload and contingency reserve. We have enough contingency reserve, but the effect of the shutdown of cheaper generators, we will turn on the contingency, which uses oil. That’s why electricity prices may go up if we run it,” the official said.
The DOE is hoping the cheaper-priced power plants will not go offline so that electricity prices will not be adversely affected during the dry months, she said.
Guevara said DOE was also in talks with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines and the power generators to re-schedule their maintenance shutdown outside the dry months.
She said DOE reminded the power generators they should fully run during the said months.
The DOE promotes demand-side management to encourage the public to help conserve and efficiently use electricity. Based on DOE forecast in January, the entire week of May could experience yellow alerts.
“Factoring in the projected forced outage ranging from 500 MW to 600 MW for the entire year, along with the operation of existing power plants and committed power plants, the Luzon grid is projected to have zero red alert and 12 yellow alerts,” Guevara said.
The yellow alerts are forecasted to occur in the following dates—March 12 to 18, March 26 and April 1, April 23 to 29, the entire May, June 1 to June 10, Aug. 17 to Sept. 2, Oct. 15 to 21 and Nov. 19 to 25.
Guevarra said power projects with a combined capacity of 1,074 MW would be completed this year.