NGCP Urges Improved Energy Planning for Power Outages

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines
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The recent power outage in Panay Island on January 2, caused by the tripping of multiple power plants, has prompted the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to advocate for better energy resource planning. In a statement, NGCP emphasized the need for improved planning to ensure sufficient generation per island, with a well-balanced mix of fuels and technology.

The primary cause of the power interruption was the unscheduled maintenance shutdowns of the largest power plants in Panay Island. Among the affected power plants were PEDC Units 1 and 2 (83 megawatts each) and PCPC (135 MW). Additionally, the planned maintenance shutdown of PEDC Unit 3 (150 MW) further exacerbated the situation. In total, 451 MW or 68.75 percent of the total 656 MW in-island generation was lost to the Panay sub-grid.

The lack of power supply was also attributed to maintenance shutdowns and deration of plants outside the Department of Energy’s approved Grid Operating and Maintenance Program. These factors, combined with the tripping of the power-generating units, led to a significant reduction in the available power supply.

As of 9:30 p.m. on January 2, only four out of 13 power plants were producing 40.3 MW or 6.2 percent of the 83.5 MW demand of Panay Island. The grid requires approximately 300 MW to stabilize the system. NGCP stated that they would restore loads conservatively by matching loads to restored generation to prevent repeated voltage failure. It is important to note that NGCP is responsible for transmitting power, not generating it.

While the restoration of affected plants is ongoing, NGCP highlighted the need for policymakers to conduct a more robust resource optimization planning. This approach ensures that solutions to power system concerns are approached from all angles, with a focus on prioritizing the most efficient ones. The configuration of the Panay sub-grid, which relies on variable energy sources in Negros, further emphasizes the necessity of providing sufficient non-variable sources to stabilize the system. NGCP also mentioned their Cebu-Negros-Panay Stage 3 project as a contributing solution.

In addition to resource optimization planning, NGCP recommended a review of the Philippine Grid Code to accommodate renewable energy sources effectively. This includes the incorporation of emerging technologies such as energy storage systems. By updating the Grid Code, the Philippines can better harness the potential of renewable energy and ensure a more reliable and sustainable power supply.

In conclusion, the recent power outage in Panay Island has highlighted the importance of improved energy resource planning. NGCP urges policymakers to prioritize a well-balanced mix of fuels and technology, conduct robust resource optimization planning, and update the Philippine Grid Code to accommodate renewable energy sources and emerging technologies. By implementing these measures, the Philippines can enhance the stability and reliability of its power system, ensuring a more resilient energy future for all.

Source: The Manila Times

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