Some parts of Manila, Luzon suffer one-hour brownouts

March 3, 2010 10:23 pm 

MANILA, March 3 — Some areas of Metro Manila and Luzon were hit by brownouts lasting one hour due to generation deficiency at the Luzon grid after three power plants remained off line.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said Luzon recorded 236 megawatt generation insufficiency today after peak demand reached 6,821MW as against the 6,585MW available capacity.

The NGCP said Masinloc 1 with a capacity of 315MW, Calaca 2 having 180MW capabilities and the Sta. Rita 30 with 260MW capacities were on outage resulting to power supply shortage in Luzon.

According to Manila Electric Company (Meralco) the rotating brownouts took place between 1pm and 3pm.

Among the areas affected by the one-hour brownout were Sta. Cruz and Tondo in Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and some parts of Quezon province.

The NGCP also noted that what contributed to the power shortage in the Luzon grid is the limited capacities of the hydro plants because of low elevation of water reservoirs.

"Two units of Kalayaan hydro-electric plant are running at 152 MW each. A third unit is unavailable because of low elevation at Caliraya Lake. Current elevation is 286.16 meters, which is below the required elevation of 286.50 meters to keep all three units of Kalayaan running. The critical water level at the reservoir is below 286 meters," the NGCP said.

The NGCP added that the Magat hydro-electric plant is also running below its capacity at 30 MW instead of 90 MW.

In a chance interview after the Philippine Economic Briefing, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes admitted that the power supply situation in the country, specifically in Mindanao, is not good.

“The power situation in Mindanao remains to be bad,” Reyes told reporters.

He said “water levels [on the dams] continue to come down so we really have to be concerned about that”.

Mindanao's generation deficiency is currently at 498 MW with a demand of 1,334 MW as against capacity of 836 MW.

Reyes also noted that they are closely monitoring the water level of the hydro plants in Luzon, in particular the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydroplants, which are generating about 700 MW.

"If the water levels continue to come down (in CBK) then we might be experiencing some difficulties in Luzon," Reyes said.

On Monday, several parts of Metro Manila and Luzon suffered two to three hours rotating brownouts after the unit 1 of the 1,000 MW Sual coal-fired power plant and the unit 1 of the 600MW Masinloc coal-fired power facility malfunctioned due to broiler tube leak.

Meralco said power situation normalizes Tuesday after Sual 1 were put back to the grid. (PNA)

DCT/MSN

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