NGCP: Luzon shares power to Visayas to prevent rotational brownout

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

DESPITE placing Visayas grid on "red alert" status due to insufficient power supply, rotating brownout in the region was averted on Thursday by implementing the sharing of power between Luzon and Visayas through a submarine cable, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

The Visayas grid went on red on alert on Thursday due to generation deficiency caused by the emergency shutdown of three power plants. A total of 200 megawatts (MW) generation capacity was lost from the grid during this period, NGCP said.

However, grid-connected electric cooperatives (ECs) and distribution utilities (DUs) did not experience rotating brownouts and outages as the situation was addressed by NGCP's High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) submarine cable, the private firm said.

The submarine cable connecting the Luzon and Visayas grids allowed power flow to and from the two island groups. During the recent supply deficiency in the Visayas, the submarine cable brought in excess power supply from Luzon to improve the supply situation in the Visayas.

NGCP said the facility was instrumental in normalizing the Visayas grid with as much as 117 megawatts (MW) of power flowing from Luzon to Visayas during the evening peak of May 20.

The power flow helped the Visayas avoid rotational brownouts and manual load dropping. Interruptible Load Program (ILP) was also implemented in some parts of Visayas to avoid rotational brownouts.

NGCP said, however, that parts of Panay island still experienced power interruptions since some areas are not connected to the grid.

These areas source their electricity from embedded generators. In the event these generators shut down, the distribution utility connected to them are unable to source electricity from other power plants.

NGCP President Henry Sy Jr. highlighted the benefits of connecting to the transmission grid.

"Grid connection has its advantages. We can import supply from Luzon if there is supply deficiency in the Visayas. Our customers are also able to enjoy lower generation charges because grid connection makes it possible for them to get electricity from cheaper energy sources, including the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM),” he explained. (SDR/Sunnex)

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