Manual load dropping, otherwise known as rotational brownout, is possible in Panay island, according to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) because of the decrease in power generation of Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC).

The power generation of PCPC plant dropped to 65 megawatts from 124 megawatts.

NGCP said that manual load dropping is likely to preserve the integrity of Panay sub-grid in consonance with the Philippine Grid Code. 

According to the NGCP, the supply of electric power is stable but they have prepared as the scheduled maintenance shutdown of another plant in Panay island, the Panay Energy Development Corporation Unit 1, will be until February 17, 2024. 

“Just in case lang naman, if ever the system will be threatened there might be a possibility. I would like to stress the word ‘possibility,’ kasi it may happen if ever lang naman na ang ating sistema’y ma-threaten,” Reagahn Alcantara, lead specialist public relations of NGCP, said.

The two plants are in Concepcion town, Iloilo Province; and in La Paz, Iloilo City, respectively.

To recall, a four-day power outage greeted the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and portions of Negros Occidental a day after the New Year (2024) because of the reported shutdown of power plants.

Manual load dropping happens when power generation thins while demand spikes. Thus, NGCP has reminded power consumers to conserve electricity.

Further, Alcantara pointed out that the ancillary services which is part of the customer billing is not meant to replace a power plant. 

According to NCGP, payment of ancillary services by distribution utilities is used for stabilizing temporarily the electric power supply during shutdowns of power plants. 

“Ang ancillary services is not meant to replace a power plant. It’s only meant to stabilize ang ating frequency, yan ang kanyang role. In the event na mag-shutdown ang mga planta they are meant to augment temporarily. But they are not solution sa ating concern if ever mag-out ang planta totally,” Alcantara stated.