THE Visayas power grid was placed on yellow alert on Tuesday after major power plants on Panay Island stopped operating, reducing the safety margin for available power, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.
In a statement, the NGCP said it issued a yellow alert over the Visayas grid for between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“Restoration of affected plants is ongoing. While NGCP did not implement manual load dropping, distribution utilities may implement load drops due to voltage-sensitive loads or manual disconnection to secure voltage levels,” the NGCP said.
According to the grid operator, multiple plants tripped starting with the power plant unit 1 of the Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) as of 12:06 p.m.
This outage was followed by PEDC Unit 2, the tripping of the power plant of Palm Concepcion Power Corp., and “other plants” in Panay Island.
About 302 megawatts (MW) was lost to the power grid, in addition to 150 MW from the planned maintenance shutdown of PEDC Unit 3.
“In total, 452 MW is unavailable. Currently, none of the power plants in Panay Island is generating power,” the NGCP said.
It has yet to disclose the cause of the power plant outages.
“NGCP is focusing its efforts on stabilizing voltage, and has extended feedback power to Iloilo and PEDC,” the grid operator said. “Load restoration will be done conservatively, by matching loads to restored generation, to prevent repeated voltage failure.”
The Negros-Panay interconnection was restored at 3:24 p.m. after a brief trip at 3:07 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DoE) said in a statement that it is closely coordinating with the NGCP and all affected generation plants and distribution utilities.
“We assure the public that power restoration is a priority,” the DoE said.
The Energy Regulatory Commission is investigating the incident, according to the Energy department. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera