One- to four-hour rotational brownouts hit Mindanao

Published by rudy Date posted on July 22, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Mindanao is experiencing rotational brownouts from an average of 1-4 hours due to the lower water level of dams, according to the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC).

“Based on the latest monitoring of the MPMC, rotation brownouts for each Distribution Utilities and Electric Cooperatives in Mindanao are averaging at one to four hours per feeder,” MPMC said in a statement Wednesday.

The dams were reported to have lower water levels than last week’s records.

“The low water levels of the dams, which provide around half of Mindanao’s power supply, has brought down the capacity of the hydropower plants of the Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Complexes. This resulted to lower power supply in areas in Mindanao,” the committee added.

Lake Lanao currently has a water level of 699.24 meters above sea level (masl), slightly lower than July 17’s 699.26 masl.

Agus 4, on the other hand, has a water level of 358.31 masl, slowly nearing its minimum operating level of 357 meters. It is also lower than the 358.88 masl monitored a couple of days ago.

Bukidnon-based Pulangi 4 has a water level of 280.40 masl, also slightly lower than the last recorded 281.02 masl. It has a minimum operating level of 282 masl, producing just 20 MW of its 250 MW capacity.

Not only that, Mindanao’s power shortage was also worsened by the preventive maintenance shutdown (PMS) of the 105-MW Unit 2 of the 210 MW STEAG coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental. It is expected to return online on Aug. 16.

The grid operator, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), said that Mindanao had a power deficiency of 248 megawatts (MWs) as of 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.

As a temporary solution, distribution utilities and electric cooperatives had implemented either manual load dropping (MLD) or activated the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which is the tapping of generator sets to lower the consumption demand.

Electric cooperatives (ECs) that had implemented MLD or rotational brownouts due to the shortage were Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) losing power for nine hours; Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative 2 (ZAMSURECO 2) for five hours, Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative (SUKELCO) for five hours, Surigao del Norte (SURNECO) for 4.5 hours.

Other ECs, such as South Cotabato Electric Cooperative 2 (SOCOTECO 2) and Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative (DASURECO), had fared better with its modular generator sets temporarily providing power. –Juzel L. Danganan, Philippine News Agency

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