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DOE rules out rotational brownouts during dry season

The Department of Energy (DOE) does not expect any rotational brownouts during the summer season, with the Luzon Grid set to be placed under yellow alert for most of April and May.

According to Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevarra, the DOE said that electricity supply is projected to be enough for the dry season, despite thin reserves.

“Wala tayong nakikitang ganyang klaseng sitwasyon. Ang meron lang tayo ay posible na yellow alerts dito sa Luzon at tsaka sa Visayas, pero hindi brownouts,” she said during Thursday’s press briefing.

(We do not see that kind of situation. The only possibility is yellow alerts in Luzon and the Visayas, but not brownouts.)

In January, the DOE said the Luzon Grid is expected to be placed under yellow alert during the year’s week 11 in March, weeks 13 and 17 in April, all weeks of May, weeks 22 and 23 in June, week 35 in September, week 42 in October, and week 47 in November.

A red alert indicates that there are no ancillary services or a generation deficiency exists, while a yellow alert indicates that the grid has thin reserves based on supply and demand.

Guevarra said that contingency reserves are sufficient, but electricity prices could be affected if one of the generators would be bogged down and supply would need to be sourced from others that use oil.

“Itong contingency na ito ay mayroon tayo ditong gumagamit ng oil, kaya medyo magmamahal ng konti ‘yung kuryente ‘pagka pinaandar itong mga ito,” she said.

“Pero nandiyan po sila, naka-ready sila, except that sana po hindi po mag-shutdown ’yung mga mas murang planta natin para hindi po maapektuhan ang presyo ng kuryente ngayong summer,” she added.

(These contingencies, some of them use oil, so this would translate to higher electricity prices if we tap them… But they are ready, except that hopefully the cheaper plants do not shut down so prices will not be affected.)

Guevarra said the DOE has already coordinated with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to ensure that there will be no maintenance shutdowns during the summer season.

It also reminded power generators that they should be running during the summer season given the high demand projected. —LBG, GMA Integrated News