NGCP assures: No rotational brownouts

China-backed National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, the only operator of the country’s transmission system, assured the public there will be no rotational brownouts, at least in the next few days, as the national grid resumes uninterrupted operations.

During a public hearing on Wednesday, NGCP president and CEO Anthony Almeda told the Senate Committee on Energy, chaired by Senator Raffy Tulfo, that all hands are on deck to avert any looming power crisis.

“Everything is under control… Here in the office, we make sure that everybody is online and the whole energy family is in discussion to work together to assure that we have enough supply of power. We make sure that everything is okay,” Almeda said.

Almeda also allayed fears that Chinese government support for the operations of the NGCP does not influence its overall efficiency in delivering services.

“I would like to assure the committee and our chairman that I am in control of the company and that all the Chinese here or not here are all board directors and they do not manage the company,” he said.
“I do all the daily activities regarding the transmission, rest assured to the committee that I am in control of the company as a Filipino,” he added.

Senator Tulfo recently proposed to form an Inter-Agency Council to strictly monitor the grid situation, especially since power interruptions still happen despite the NGCP and DoE monitoring the situation.

However, Energy Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan, who represented the absent Secretary Raphael Lotilla, vowed that the DoE, in its capacity, will continue to closely monitor the grid situation and that emergency measures will be implemented once reserves decline.

“All of the power plants running in Luzon are being monitored daily and should there be instances like what happened last Sunday, it will be monitored closely. If we have to call out the plant operators, we will because we don’t just wait for reports,” Marasigan said.

Early this week, some Luzon customers experienced brownout after the grid was placed under “red alert” due to factors including unplanned power plant outages, transmission line tripping, and derating of electricity generation of some power facilities.

NGCP reported that at least seven electric generating plants were simultaneously forced outages leading to a loss of more than 3,400 megawatts in the power system.

The generating facilities on unscheduled shutdowns included Unit 1 of GNPower Dinginin plant, Calaca-2 plant, Masinloc 2 and 3, Sual 1 and 2 plants, and Quezon Power plant.

The outages were also perpetrated by the derated capacity of the other power plants, which resulted in 226MW additional capacity lost in the Luzon grid.

A yellow alert is raised when the power reserve falls below the ideal levels. On the other hand, when a supply-demand balance worsens, a red alert, which points to severe power deficiency that may lead to rotating power interruptions, is declared.

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