No brownouts on May 10

May 6, 2010 8:17 pm 

By Marie S. Neri

MANILA, May 6 –The Department of Energy (DOE) assured a stable power supply in the coming May 10 polls.

Acting Energy Secretary Jose C. Ibazeta said the department had laid down all the contingency plans to ensure that electricity supply would not be interrupted during the voting this coming Monday.

I'm very confident there will be no brownouts," Ibazeta told reporters during a news briefing.

Ibazeta said that Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao would not suffer any brownout.

"As far as we're concerned in the power sector, Luzon and Visayas are assured of supply. We have back-up contingency plans in case there are issues like what we call Murphy's Law (when things go bad everything goes bad) – we have contingencies for those," he said.

In the case of Mindanao, which is heavily reliant on hydro plants, Ibazeta said: "We have been building water up in the dams"

"So for three days during the Election period, we'll release the water so for three days you'll have power in Mindanao. We also have back-up contingencies in Mindanao and in the case of the Visayas we even prepared to bring power from the North to the South."

He said from May 9 to 11, there will be power in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

"But I will admit that in Mindanao, the power situation is pretty tight. So we have to be sure about the situation there," the Energy chief said.

To monitor the situation in the three grids, Ibazeta said the DOE had established the command center which will monitor all the different aspects of the generation and distribution of the power sector in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. "And the monitors tells you where there is and there is no power and how the lines are being distributed," he said.

Jesusito Sulit of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the command center will also have links "in the region namely: north and south Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We have voice and video and facsimile communication. So every so often we will have reports coming from the field on the status of their systems. And if there are any problems we will coordinate with either the generators or the distribution utilities in order to solve the problems we might encounter during that day."

Should there be power tripping, Sulit said that "there are various responses, but most of them are automatic. So if a generator trips, there will be spinning reserves and frequency regulations generators that will track demand. Unless there are cascaded trippings there will be no need for human intervention."

He also said that in cases where there were insufficient reserves, "then we will, by voice command or coordination, will coordinate with the distribution utilities or electric cooperatives for the scheduled rotating brownouts, if they will have to be implemented."

Ibazeta said since May 10 is holiday, usage of power would be minimal, therefore chances of bronwouts would be zero if not minimal.

"Bare in mind that Election day is expected to have a lighter load because its a holiday," he said.

On Monday, Luzon will have more than 1,200-megawatt (MW)of reserves, which is double than the normal requirement of 647-MW while Visayas will have more than 300-MW reserve and Mindanao will have 100-MW reserves.

Ibazeta said that they were also prepared to implement a deloading in the Mindanao grid if there was a need.

"We will deload. In other words, the industries will be cut off, any commercial establishment will be deloaded and priorities will be given to the polling centers," he said.

Aside from deloading, the Energy chief said they will also put online the 650-MW Malaya plant on election day.

He also noted that Bukidnon will provide additional 7-MW while Iligan to give 40-MW.

Earlier, the DOE placed May 9 to 11 as the critical period for the election day but Ibazeta said they could stretched this until May 12 or depending on the requirement of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Meanwhile, Ibazeta said the department had coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to secure the power establishment in the country so as to prevent any power failure during the May 10 polls. (PNA) RMA/MSN/utb

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