The Department of Energy (DOE) is closely monitoring and coordinating with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), generation companies, and distribution utilities to ensure the availability of power supply in meeting the power demand in view of the declaration of Red and Yellow Alert status in the Luzon and Visayas Grid today.

The tight power supply conditions have persisted due to the sustained high peak demands in both the Luzon and Visayas Grids. According to forecasts from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), certain areas continue to experience extreme temperatures and high heat indices. Notably, the actual peak energy demand for Luzon has surpassed forecasts in this El Niño year. Last 24 April 2024, the peak demand reached 14,016 MW, higher than the forecasted peak demand for the year of 13,917 MW. The DOE has identified a strong correlation of 93 percent between peak demand and heat index in Luzon. With the PAGASA projection of the heat index remaining elevated in select areas, the peak demand will likely remain above forecasted levels throughout the remainder of May.

The DOE enjoins all distribution utilities and electric cooperatives to be ready to activate their Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to reduce the overall demand in the grid. The DOE noted that the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has already advised their ILP participants to prepare for possible de-loading. The Department acknowledges the proactive efforts of stakeholders in the power sector, particularly the role of the ILP in the MERALCO franchise area. The DOE also encourages everyone to continue minimizing power use during critical hours to help mitigate the impact of supply shortages. These initiatives are crucial in preventing power interruptions and ensuring continued power supply stability.

A notice of Red Alert was issued in the Luzon Grid from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM today while a Yellow Alert was declared from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and 10:00 PM to 12:00 midnight.

A Red Alert was also issued in the Visayas Grid from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, while a Yellow Alert was issued from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Today, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended the operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) starting at trading intervals 1:05 PM in the Luzon Grid and 2:05 PM in the Visayas Grid, pursuant to ERC Order on Case No. 2024-017 MC dated 30 April 2024. The operations of the WESM shall remain suspended until issuance of the Notice of Market Resumption by the Commission.

From 16 April to 23 May 2024, the Luzon power grid experienced 6 Red Alerts and 20 Yellow Alerts, while the Visayas grid recorded 7 Red Alerts and 20 Yellow Alerts. Meanwhile, the Mindanao grid had 2 Yellow Alerts on 24 and 26 April 2024.

For Luzon, the actual power interruptions lasted at most for 1 hour and 14 minutes on 16 April 2024 and not more than 1 hour and 18 minutes on 23 April 2024. The DOE notes that power interruptions were even shorter in most areas. For Visayas and Mindanao, there were no actual power interruptions. Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said, “Red and Yellow Alerts need not result in actual power interruptions if the power demand can be correspondingly reduced to respond to the decrease in power supply."

Hydroelectric power plants in Luzon are still constrained and thus, the DOE has called on the other generation plants that are on forced outage to ensure that these facilities are back online as soon as possible. ###