Mindanao suffers from load curtailment due to supply shortfall

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/3 Jan) – Power supply in Mindanao have fallen below the system capacity due to generation deficiency for two days already, an official from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said on Tuesday.

Milfrance Capulong, NGCP communications officer for Mindanao, said that lack of supply during the system peak in the island would lead to a load curtailment.

“Load curtailment grid-wide is 50 MW [megatwatts] based on the December 2011 load to maintain matrix of NPC/PSALM [National Power Corp./ Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management(PSALM) Corp.,” she said in a text advisory.

Capulong said the Mindanao grid would have experienced load curtailment from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday due to insufficient contingency reserve caused by the generation deficiency.

However, she did not say what was the reason for the generation deficiency; whether it was caused by maintenance shutdown of plants of power companies, reduced capacities of others, or rising demand these days.

NGCP does not produce power supply but is the private operator of the nation’s power transmission network.

Based on the NGCP website, the power outlook for Mindanao as of 6 a.m. Tuesday showed that it has a system capacity of 1235 MW.

But the system peak was pegged 1241 MW, or a deficiency of 6 MW, it added.

Such figures basically put Mindanao’s power system condition under “Red Alert” status.

“Red Alert” refers to the system condition when the contingency reserve is zero or a generation deficiency exists, NGCP explained in an earlier statement.

Mindanao was placed last November under “Yellow Alert,” a system condition where total of all reserves is less than 13.2 percent of the required capacity.

When system reserves are more than sufficient to meet the reserve requirements of the grid, the system is considered to be under normal condition.

The system alert, and the corresponding power curtailment, if any, is lifted once demand recedes or once there is enough available capacity coming into the grid from the power plants.

On Monday, Capulong said the Mindanao grid also suffered a load curtailment for the evening peak from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The load curtailment grid-wide was also 50 MW due to insufficient contingency reserve caused by a generation deficiency, she said.

In this city, the seat of government of Region 12, a power outage occurred for a brief period Monday evening.

During periods of generation deficiency, NGCP implements the Mindanao grid-wide power load curtailment to maintain the power grid’s security and reliability.

“It is NGCP’s obligation under the law and its franchise to ensure that the grid operates at an optimum level with due consideration for safety, security and reliability,” NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said in an earlier statement. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)