NGCP sees 6 months of tight power supply in 2015
Rotating brownouts could strike in the biggest power grid of Luzon not only on the summer months of 2015, but also on several months during the second half, based on the forecasts of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
On its base case Power Supply Outlook for next year, the system operator indicated that tight supply could kick in as early as January when reserve will only be at 845 megawatts, way below the required 1,604MW required contingency, dispatchable and regulating reserves for that particular month.
Extremely tight supply scenarios will also threaten the grid with power interruptions on the months of March, May, July, August and September. In plain language, any moment that a big generating unit of a scheduled power plant will conk out, rotating brownouts could take place.
By March, the reserve margin will fall to 520MW and supply scenarios could turn worse around May with the system straining close to breaking point with estimated reserves of just 230MW. By April, reserve is seen way better at 1,174MW although it is still below the requirement.
Luzon grid’s reserve requirement could hover from 1,400 plus megawatts to more than 1,600MW at any given particular month.
By July, gross reserves would still be extremely low at 412MW; and the same goes with August at 435MW. This ‘supply-edgy condition’ will last until September when the system can only hang on to 986MW of reserves.
The third quarter-months will be the period when maintenance downtimes of majority of the power plants are expected to be scheduled as they will likely be deferred during the March 2015 shutdown of the Malampaya gas production facility.
On some months, the supply-demand conditions pictured by NGCP could be relatively better. Although for February, April and June, the required reserves will still be on shortfall.
Situation will only improve in October, November and December when reserve requirements will also be fully met, the system operator has projected.
Peak demand forecast for next year was placed at 9,011 megawatts and it will be happening in May. This is roughly 300MW higher from this year’s peak demand of 8,717MW.
In the system operator’s supply-demand projections, no wind capacity was factored in contributing to power supply throughout 2015, but it cast constant power supply import of 80MW from the Visayas grid. (MMV)