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    Power plant closure sked key to averting crisis-DOE


    January 18, 2022 - Business Mirror

     

      LUZON will have adequate power supply and reserves this year. That’s if the scheduled maintenance shutdown of power plants is carefully planned.

      The Department of Energy (DOE) said Sunday that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has indicated to the agency that “there are no foreseen yellow alerts in 2022, with the NGCP having proposed for some amendments in the schedule of generator maintenance adjustments.”

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      A yellow alert indicates the thinning of power reserves in the grid. It is raised when reserves fall below the capacity of the largest generating unit.

      The NGCP and DOE did not provide the amended maintenance schedule of power plants.

      Both met last Friday to discuss the 2022 Power Demand/Supply Outlook, as provided for by Department Circular (DC) DC2020-02-0004, “Providing Guidelines on the Planned Outage Schedules of Power Plants and Transmission Facilities and the Public Posting of the Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP).”

      Among others, the GOMP policy requires generation companies (GenCos) to submit their respective proposed maintenance schedules in advance.

      “The goal of these meetings is to make sure that all power sector stakeholders are aligned for CY2022. The availability of stable and reliable power supply is of grave importance-there should be no surprises this year, especially given our continuous battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, regions that have been affected by Typhoon Odette are rebuilding themselves, and of course, because we are in an election year,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.

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      For Visayas, the issuance of yellow alerts may happen, citing the absence of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link from Luzon, and after taking into account generator maintenance adjustments.

      HVDC should always be available to provide support, as outages outside of the provided maintenance schedule may result in the thinning of reserves in Visayas or Luzon, since both grids support each other at peak times of the day.

      For Mindanao, there are no foreseen yellow alerts, even after factoring in generator maintenance adjustments.

      The DOE reiterated that the GOMP is an important tool to enable it to come up with accurate power supply/demand projections for the coming year.

      In addition, sound forward planning would allow the energy stakeholders to identify potential issues and formulate appropriate contingency measures to prevent potential power interruptions.

      Under Section 3 of DC2020-02-0004, GenCos are required to submit their three-year planned outage schedules to the NGCP, which serves as a basis for the crafting of the GOMP.

      The NGCP should submit the GOMP on the “last day of October of each year, for review and approval” of the DOE, which then “directs the necessary adjustments in the generation and transmission planned outage schedules”.

      Furthermore, the circular also clearly stated that “only the hydroelectric power plants shall be allowed to conduct power plant maintenance during the peak quarter”.

      Both the DOE and the NGCP agreed that GenCos should strictly adhere to their maintenance schedule submissions in the recently approved GOMP 2022-2024.

      The DOE and NGCP are expected to continue to meet regularly as part of the preparations for the presentation of the annual power supply and demand outlook.

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