3-hour daily rotating brownout back in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 19 November)—A three-hour daily rotating power interruption was implemented anew in this city and neighboring areas starting Monday due to the preventive maintenance and reduced capacity of power plants, the electric distributor here said.

Rodolfo Ocat, South Cotabato 2 Electric Cooperative Inc. (Socoteco-2) said they will implement power curtailment for a week in its service area.

He said the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) informed the distribution utility that the Mindanao grid has a generation deficiency of 430 megawatts, and that the grid is on a red alert status.

NGCP, the private operator of the country’s transmission network, said in its website Monday that the supply shortfall in the Mindanao grid was 234 MW, given the system capacity of 949 MW but a demand of 1,183 MW.

In a public advisory, Socoteco-2 said that based on the NGCP grid alert notice, the increase of generation deficiency was due to the non-availability of Agus 1 hydropower plant (55MW) and reduced capacity of the Alcantara-led Southern Philippines Power Corp. (40MW).

The Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine, Inc. Unit 1 (100MW) is also having its preventive maintenance shutdown (PMS) since November 17 until November 22.

TMI’s Unit 2 is also expected to have its PMS on Nov. 24-29, 2012.

Socoteco-2 also announced that the Agus and Pulangi hydropower complexes were also reported to experience low water inflow for several weeks now.

These combined factors (PMS, reduced capacity and low water level) explain the extent of power deficiency in the island, the electric distributor said.

Socoteco-2 has to adhere to the load allocation matrix set by the National Power Corp., it said.

Currently, Socoteco-2 has grouped its feeders into four, which load will be alternately cut starting 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

As a general rule, Socoteco-2 will maximize and dispatch  any available power supply but if, during the day, there will a system  improvement, some feeders may experience shorter than the announced duration of brownout, the electric distributor said.

Socoteco-2 also distributes electricity to the whole of Sarangani and parts of South Cotabato province.

The government has created the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) due to the supply shortfall problems besetting the island.

Created under Executive Order 81, the committee is tasked to coordinate efforts of national, regional and local governments, and power industry stakeholders to improve the power situation in Mindanao. It is also mandated to regularly monitor information on Mindanao power generation and distribution, including status of efforts to add new generating capacities to the grid.

Currently, MPMC is proposing to tap imbedded generators and the operationalization of the 100MW Iligan Diesel Power Plant in the immediate term, while firming up the setting up of a one-stop-shop processing center to facilitate new applications, particularly mini hydro power projects.

The MPMC is composed of the Mindanao Development Authority, Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, National Electrification Administration, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp, Napocor and representatives from the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)