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NGCP prepares for blackout scenarios; sets simulation drills in April, May

With hotter days ahead threatening to raise demand for electricity and deplete the reserve power supply, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines is conducting its annual blackout simulation drills.

The NGCP said it had one drill for Luzon earlier this month, and is planning similar drills for Visayas and Mindanao in May.
"The Luzon black-start recovery simulation drill was conducted in the second week of April. Tabletop exercises and actual simulation will be separately conducted for the Visayas and Mindanao grids within the next month, focusing on mitigating scenarios particular to their areas," the NGCP said.
NGCP president and chief executive officer Henry Sy Jr. said the NGCP conducts such drills every year, to ensure the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids "can mitigate any and all forms of system disturbances."
He added the drills aim to ensure the concerned personnel are prepared to respond to any scenario.
"The participation of DOE, ERC, power generation companies, and other industry players will guarantee that in the event of a system outage, the contingency plan is effectively and efficiently carried out,” Sy said.
A blackout drill involves a tabletop exercise and black-start recovery simulation.
The tabletop exercise for Luzon last April 3 had participants from the Department of Energy, Grid Management Committee, Distribution Management Committee, Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, National Transmission Corporation, Meralco, and generation companies, as well as NGCP’s System Operations (SO) group.
The NGCP said the tabletop exercise "aims to update key players of the power industry on transmission line and equipment developments, transmission outlook, and review contingency plans during critical incidents, including the contingency plan for the present dry season and in case of system security compromise."
Other activities included ancillary service updates focusing on black start services, which is implemented by starting individual power stations in each identified restoration area and reconnecting those to integrate the system again.
Only one week ago, Luzon's power reserves dipped after a unit of the Masinloc coal-fired power plant in Zambales went down due to a boiler tube leak.
However, the Department of Energy quickly allayed fears of brownouts, saying there is still enough power for the grid. — Joel Locsin/ELR, GMA News