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Meralco issues advisory as NGCP places Luzon grid on red alert

Alena Mae S. Flores

Power retailer Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has advised participants of the interruptible load program (ILP) to prepare to deload from the grid after the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) declared a red alert status on the Luzon grid starting Thursday afternoon.

NGCP said in its advisory three plants have been on forced outage since 2023, four between January and March 2024, and 11 power plants between April and May 2024; while three are running on derated capacities, for a total of 2,525.5 megawatts unavailable to the grid.

It said the Sual coal plant unit 1 (647 MW) went on forced outage while Sual unit 2’s capacity was derated at 550 MW. Another power plant GNPD is also on derated capacity at 600 MW from 668 MW.

NGCP said since January, Luzon and Visayas had 15 days of red alerts and 44 days of yellow alerts across the three power grids.

“Following the declaration of red and yellow Alerts today, May 23, Meralco already advised the ILP participants for their de-loading commitments to help ease and manage the demand in the Luzon power grid,” said Meralco spokesman and corporate communications head Joe Zaldarriaga.

“We again urge the public to continue practicing energy conservation and efficiency measures as a way to help in contributing to demand side management. Meanwhile, rest assured that we will be ready in the event of a possible implementation of manual load dropping or rotating power interruptions as part of our responsibility to manage the system,” he said.

NGCP declared the Luzon grid on red alert from 1pm to 5pm and 6pm to 10pm.

It also placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert from 12pm to 1pm, 5pm to 6pm and from 10pm to 12 am.

NGCP said available capacity for the Luzon grid was at 13,531MW versus peak demand of 13,597MW.

A red alert status is issued when power supply is insufficient to meet consumer demand and the transmission grid’s regulating requirement while a yellow alert is issued when the operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid’s contingency requirement.

NGCP also placed the Visayas grid on red alert from 2 pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 7pm.

It also placed the Visayas grid on yellow alert from 12 pm to 2 pm, 4 pm to 6 pm, and from 7pm to 10pm as available capacity was placed at 2,588MW compared to peak demand of 2,537MW.

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