DOE boss Cusi says sorry for Luzon brownouts

Published June 3, 2021, 4:59 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi apologized to the public Thursday, June 3 for the rotational brownouts that struck parts of Luzon the past few days when power reserves in the region were way down.

DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi (Screengrab from Facebook live)

In a televised press briefing, Cusi said that the situation has actually improved as there is ample power supply to meet the demand, at least for Thursday.

“Normal na po ang supply ng kuryente for today (The supply of electricity is normal today). [The] supply po is more than sufficient to meet the projected demand today,” he said.

According to Cusi, the projected peak demand was around 10,300 megawatts (MW), while the available supply stood at around 11,600 MW. This meant that there were 1,300 MW worth of power reserves.

“So we have a normal supply today and I apologize for the last two days na nagkaroon po ng rotating brownouts (I apologize for the last two days when we had rotating brownouts),” the DOE boss said.

The Luzon grid was placed on “red alert” status at different intervals everyday from Monday to Wednesday. A red alert occurs when power demand is projected to be higher than the available supply.

“Dahil po yun na sabay-sabay po na nagkaroon po ng breakdown ng apat na plantang malalaki po na ang capacity po ay 2,017 MW. Malaki po ang supply na nawala sa sistema kaya nagkaroon po tayo ng kakulangan (It’s because four large power plants with a total capacity of 2,017 MW broke down simultaneously. The significant capacity loss affected our reserves),” Cusi explained.

He also said that the scorching summer heat contributed to power demand breaching 11,000 MW during the past few days.

Despite Thursday’s “normalization,” Cusi said that 1,372 MW worth of power capacity have yet to return to the grid.