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DoE, NGCP map contingency plans

To recall, the Visayas also devastated by typhoon ‘Odette’ last December 2021. Until today, over 900,000 affected households still have no electricity, with damage to electric cooperatives now at P3.4 billion

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The Department of Energy (DoE) said it is awaiting the generation companies (GenCos) submission of their respective proposed maintenance schedules to finalize the Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP) policy.

The GOMP is the schedule of planned or maintenance outages of GenCos and transmission facilities which should be submitted to and approved by the DoE.

In a press statement Sunday, the DoE said GOMP policy would allow them “to come up with accurate power supply and demand projections for the coming year.”

Under the DoE Circular (DC) DC2020-02-0004, there should be clear guidelines on the planned outage schedules of power plants and transmission facilities.

The order also requires public posting of the under the DoE Circular (DC) DC2020-02-0004, there should be clear guidelines on the planned outage schedules of power plants and transmission facilities. It also requires public posting of the GOMP.

The circular also clearly states that “only the hydroelectric power plants shall be allowed to conduct power plant maintenance during the peak quarter,”

Under Section 3 of DC2020-02-0004, GenCos are required to submit their three-year planned outage schedules to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which serves as a basis for the crafting of the GOMP.

Meanwhile, the NGCP should submit the GOMP on the last day of October of each year, for review and approval of the DoE, which then directs the necessary adjustments in the generation and transmission planned outage schedules.

Both the DoE and the NGCP agreed that GenCos should strictly adhere to their maintenance schedule submissions in the recently approved GOMP 2022 to 2024.

On Sunday, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the DoE and NGCP virtually convened for their regular meeting to discuss the power demand and supply outlook for the year.

He said the DoE is mapping out contingency plans to secure additional power supply in preparation for the demand increase in the days leading up to, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the elections, which also happen to fall on a summer month.

“The goal of these meetings is to make sure that all power sector stakeholders are aligned for Calendar year 2022. The availability of a stable and reliable power supply is of grave importance — there should be no surprises this year, especially given our continuous battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, regions that have been affected by typhoon ‘Odette’ are rebuilding themselves, and of course, because we are in an election year,” Cusi said.

Cusi indicated that there are no foreseen yellow alerts in Luzon and Mindanao, with the NGCP having proposed some amendments in the schedule of generator maintenance adjustments.

However, the energy chief did not elaborate.

A yellow alert indicates the thinning of power reserves in the grid. It is raised when reserves fall below the capacity of the largest generating unit.

Meanwhile, in the Visayas, Cusi said potential occurrences of yellow alert should be anticipated due to the absence of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link from Luzon, and after taking into account generator maintenance adjustments.

According to the DoE, HVDC should always be available to provide support, as outages outside of the provided maintenance schedule may result in the thinning of reserves in Visayas or Luzon since both grids support each other at peak times of the day.

To recall, the Visayas also devastated by typhoon “Odette” last December 2021. Until today, over 900,000 affected households still have no electricity, with damage to electric cooperatives now at P3.4 billion.

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