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ONCE again, the Luzon grid was placed on yellow alert Tuesday afternoon for three hours.

A yellow alert means an insufficient operating power reserve. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said power reserve stood at 412 megawatts (MW), lower from Monday’s 533MW. Demand hit 11,385MW as against 12,251MW of supply.

The numbers are low because six power plants are on forced outage. These are the 460MW coal plant of Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. Co., 150MW Unit 1 of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC), 50MW Units 3 and 4 of SLPGC, 316MW Unit 1 of GN Power Mariveles Coal Ltd. Co. (GMEC), 316MW Unit 2 of GMEC, and 300MW Calaca 2. In all, the total unplanned unavailable capacity stood at 1,592MW.

As of 4  p.m. on Tuesday, the yellow alert notice was lifted.

The other day, the yellow alert lasted for two hours. Five power plants conked out.

Last Saturday, NGCP issued yellow and red alert warnings mainly due to multiple power plant outages. The red alert status was lifted at 5:30 p.m., while the yellow alert status lasted until 10:19 p.m.

The NGCP identified the cause of the outage last Saturday as “underbuilt” lines owned by the Peninsula Electric Cooperative Inc. (PENELCO).

These underbuilt distribution lines are constructed underneath NGCP’s transmission lines and are within the grid operator’s right-of-way. The underbuilt lines breached the safety clearance along NGCP’s Hermosa-BCCPP 230kV line, causing the transmission outage.

Before last Saturday’s incident, the Luzon grid had three yellow alerts from January to April this year. In comparison, there were four days of yellow alerts and three days of red alerts in 2021.

When there is supply deficiency and power interruptions are imminent, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will implement its Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

As of June 2022, there are 121 companies representing 263 establishments with a total committed de-loading capacity of 554MW that have signified with Meralco, MPower and with other retail electricity suppliers to temporarily de-load from the grid and use their generator sets when needed.