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DOE expects 560-MW capacity addition before 2015 summer

The Department of Energy (DOE) is expecting generation capacity addition of aggregate 560 megawatts that will be synchronized to the Luzon grid until February or before the strike of full summer next year.

Based on the Power Supply Outlook of the department, new power plants will be coming on-line starting August 2014 until February 2015; and the next ones will be getting on stream from March until November also next year.

In fact, the DOE outlook indicated that the 100-megawatt Avion plant of First Gen that it has been expecting to save the grid from summer brownouts will only be on-line around September 2015.

The energy department’s outlined capacity additions will likely add to the muddle as to whether there will be capacity shortages to be experienced summer of 2015, especially so since Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla just estimated capacity shortfall of 240 to 270MW vis-à-vis the anticipated additional capacities of more than 500MW.

Stakeholders in the power industry reckoned that the feared brownouts are anchored only on ‘artificial shortages’ that may be triggered by forced outages of big generating units of power plants. The DOE has been citing historical data on such assumptions.

For this year alone, the department noted that 383MW of new capacities will be added to the grid starting with the 18MW expansion phase of the Northwind power project in Northern Luzon.

Around October and November, the department is eyeing grid synchronizations of the 135-MW coal plant of the Trans-Asia and Ayala joint venture; plus the phase one 150-MW capacity expansion of the Calaca coal plant of the Consunji group. A biomass plant of 20MW is also expected coming on-line before year end.

By February 2015, the 87MW Burgos wind power project of the Lopez group is expected on stream; plus the 150-MW phase 2 of the Consunji group’s coal facility expansion.

Given realities that wind power facilities can just be relied upon on November to February window for electricity generation, it will be the coal capacity additions that could expectedly beef up grid supply.

Around March, the capacities that will add to grid supply will be another 18MW biomass facility and the 81-MW Caparispisan wind power project in Ilocos Norte.

By June next year, the department is expecting the first 200-MW unit of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility of Energy World Corporation, but this is seen not reliable due to implementation hurdles being encountered by the project sponsor.

The 135-MW second unit of the Trans-Asia and Ayala coal plant is also scheduled for synchronization to the grid around November 2015.