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DOE: Power lost due to outages more than double the four-year average

The power supply lost due to unplanned outages of power plants this week reached 1,811 megawatts or more than double compared with the average in the last four years, the Department of Energy (DOE) said Friday.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla and DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau executive director Irma Exconde said the 1,811 megawatts of power lost that resulted in red and yellow alert in the Luzon and Visayas grids was unprecedented, as forced outages of power plants only result in an average of 700 megawatts of power supply lost.

“There is an assumption [of supply to be lost] for the forced outages based on the average of the past four years. The average for similar situation in the last four years is 700 megawatts. But on April 16, the forced outages were at 1,811 megawatts. That is more than double,” Esconde said.

“That is one of the causes why we have these alert notices. The operating margin is below the 4% demand and at times below also in the largest unit operating in the grid,” she added.

Lotilla, for his part, said the DOE cannot predict the worst case of power supply lost due to forced outages because the performance of power plants is also dependent on the demand.

“We cannot predict that the high temperatures will persist over a long period of time. It is not only the power plants’ performance that is affected. It is also the [number] of peak demand [of power supply]. And the highest peak demand this year occurred last April 17, and before that, April 12,” Lotilla said.

“As temperature increases, the demand also increases. And that is what we are trying to explain, so that the consuming public can help us in managing the increase during the moment of peak demand,” he added.

A peak demand that consistently increases, Lotilla said, also forces power plants to increase production.

“What is important is we are able to respond to this. Yesterday, for instance, despite the yellow and red alerts, no power interruption occurred in the grid other than localized interruptions,” Lotilla said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News