Consumers urged to save electricity
Energy stakeholders urged consumers to use electricity wisely as power supply would continue to be tight for the rest of the year, including this weekend.
“I don’t expect brownouts this weekend although we will be on yellow alert because of Ilijan 2 (power plant) maintenance,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said in a text message. While he did not speculate on power prices, Petilla said it was in the interest of both providers and consumers to manage energy consumption well.
After Unit 2 of the Ilijan power plant, eight others are set to go on maintenance shutdown schedule between mid-July and mid-November: Pagbilao 2, Sual 2, Sta. Rita Mod 20, Sual 1, San Lorenzo Mod 50, Sta. Rita Mod 30 and San Lorenzo Mod 60.
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) separately said in a statement that, given the number of scheduled outages of several large power plants for the rest of the year, consumers should pay attention to updates on power supply and save energy.
The distribution utility said appliances should be in top condition so as to maximize its reliability and efficiency. Turning off appliances and lighting not in use was also another way of managing consumption.
It may be recalled that power rates grew slightly in July because of the tight power situation in the supply month of June, when scheduled and unscheduled power plant outages occurred.
These included scheduled shutdowns for Pagbilao 1, San Lorenzo Units 50 and 60, as well as forced outages for Sta. Rita Unit 40, Calaca 1 and 2, Masinloc 1 and 2, Malaya 2, Ilijan 2, Quezon Power, San Lorenzo Units 50 and 60, GNPower-2 and Sual-1.
The resulting thin reserves brought by these outages likewise led to frequent declarations of yellow and red alerts for the supply month compared to the previous months, Meralco said. The grid, for instance, was placed on red alert for four hours in June due to various generation and transmission-related troubles. Yellow alert was experienced for 27 hours in June compared to only 25 hours in May, 8 hours in April and 6 hours in March.
Yellow alert is reached when the total reserve is less than the capacity of the biggest plant on line. For the Luzon grid, this is usually equivalent to 647 MW, or one unit of the Sual power plant.