No brownouts this summer – Sen. Gatchalian

Published April 3, 2019, 9:03 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Mario Casayuran

The Senate energy committee yesterday assured power consumers that there would be no brownouts this summer as long as the country’s power plants follow their maintenance schedules.

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, committee chairman, issued the statement after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) sent Monday a ‘’yellow alert’’ advisory or reserve-scant situation grid.

The power supply is ‘’manipis (thin),’’ he explained.

What this means is that NGCP’s second level of reserves could no longer be fully served by available capacity in the power system.

After attending a briefing on the power situation made by the Department of Energy (DOE) last weekend, Gatchalian told a radio station last Saturday that the country’s plants have the capacity to supply electric power in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

He also said that he was assured by the DOE that the coming May 13, 2019 mid-term elections would not experience power brownouts.

Mario Marasigan, DOE director, also issued the same assurance during a public hearing by Gatchalian’s committee on energy-related legislation.

Gatchalian said the NGCP was forced to issue the ‘’yellow alerts’’ because there were unscheduled breakdowns.

‘’Kung lahat ng planta ay susundin ang kanilang maintenance schedule, hindi tayo magkakaroon ng problema sa kuryente hanggang eleksyon,’’ he pointed out. (If all power plants follow their maintenance schedules, we will not have problems.)

‘’Looking at the data, wala tayong problema kung walang planta ang masisira in the next three months so kung susundan nila ang maintenance schedule nila, wala tayong magiging problema,’’ he added. (Looking at the data, we will have no problem if no plant will breakdown in the next three months and if all the plants follow their maintenance schedules.’’

Gatchalian said the country has many additional power plants- both renewable and traditional.

While Mindanao has a surplus of power, the Visayas, on the other hand, has many hydroelectric power plants.

But Luzon’s hydropower plants have problems because of the ‘’El Nino’’ phenomenon, Gatchalian explained.