DLPC says shortage in power supply may lead to Mindanao’s total shutdown

Feb. 19, 2016

By Aimee Gito, Davao Today Intern

DAVAO CITY – The Davao Light Power Corp. (DLPC) warned that forcing to meet the demand for continuous electricity than what the generation sources could supply may cause a total shutdown of the Mindanao grid.

This is the reason why the DLPC is also forced to schedule two to three hours of brownouts in rotation “because we cannot serve everyone with power,” said DLPC spokesperson Ross Luga during the I-Speak media forum on Thursday, February 18.

Luga said that the power supply is currently in a deficit of 60-70 megawatts (MW), mainly due to the El Niño dry spell phenomenon that has dried up the waters of Lake Lanao and Pulangui River in Bukidnon.

Luga cited a report by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that 85 percent or 68 provinces in the country have already experience drought.

In January this year, Zamboanga and North Cotabato were already placed in a state of calamity due to El Niño.

Luga said the hydroelectric power is the most affected because of the drying up of water sources.

Lake Lanao reached its critical level in 2010, going down to 699.34 meters from 699.66, with a difference of 0.32 meters.

Luga added that the power situation in the island from November 2015 until April this year is going on the same direction as it did in 2010.

“The time that we had a power crisis, we were lower than the critical level way back in 2010,” Luga said.

According to Luga, El Niño phenomenon also lead power generation suppliers to decrease their supply.

He said that the National Power Corporation – Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation has reduced its supply contract from 289 MW in December 2015 to 164 MW in January 2016, HEDCOR Sibulan, with a contract of 52 MW had only supplied 38 MW, and DLPC itself had only drawn 32 MW instead of the installed capacity of the Bajada Power Plant of 63 MW.

“Can you imagine the decrease in the supply coming from our biggest supplier?”  Luga said.

Of the 164 MW remaining on the contract, Luga said that DLPC had drawn only 123 MW, and have received lesser power supply than 123 MW, as of February 17.

As part of their counter-measures, Luga said that DLPC is optimizing power supply agreements with their suppliers, Therma Marine Inc., a sea-based thermal plant, Therma South Inc., a 300 MW plant in Binugao, Toril that they had contracted with 100 MW, and Western Mindanao Power Inc. in Zamboanga, with 80 MW.

Luga added that DLPC has also made an interruptible load program with companies that opt to use their own generators rather than from that of the power distribution, clearing up 10 MW of power on peak hours.

“Everytime 1 MW of power is not drawn from our distribution network, 4,167 customers are spared inconvenience of the rotating power interruption,” Luga said.

Luga reiterated that although schedules are set for rotational brownouts, DLPC will serve their power supply whenever available.

“We will avoid implementing rotating power interruption, it is only our last resort after exhausting all of our contingency measures nga kulang pa jud gihapon (which are still lacking),” he said. (davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus