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Full power restoration in W. Visayas eyed Jan. 5

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The Department of Energy (DOE) said on Wednesday that electricity services in Western Visayas is expected to be fully restored by Friday (Jan. 5) once the grid synchronization of power plants is completed.

The DOE said the grid is waiting for the 135 megawatts load from the Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) to be connected to the grid, which needs about 300 MW to stabilize.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, 249 MW of load were brought back to the grid, 198.1 MW of which came from power plants in Panay and another 50.9 MW were served by other power generation facilities in Visayas.

“The target synchronization of the plant is between 10 p.m. to 12 midnight of 04 January 2024. According to the NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines), load restoration will be done conservatively, by matching loads to restored generation, to prevent repeated voltage failure,” DOE said in a statement.

The power outage in Western Visayas on Jan. 2 was traced to the boiler feed pump of Unit 1 of Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) coal-fired power plant and caused by the voltage imbalance in Unit 2 and Unit 1 of PCPC.

The tripping in the two power plants in the Panay grid also affected the delivery of power from other facilities in the Visayas grid.

The DOE has called out the NGCP to adhere to its responsibilities as a system operator (SO) in ensuring supply security and reliability of the grid.

“NGCP is in a position to anticipate system disturbance such as what happened yesterday, which unfortunately resulted in the isolation of Panay from the rest of the Visayas grid due to the simultaneous tripping of power plants that caused multiple power interruptions affecting other power plants and distribution utilities (DUs),” DOE Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said.

Guevarra added that the same system disturbance that happened in the Panay and Negros sub-grids in April 2023 should already be a lesson for all the stakeholders involved.

“With the SO monitoring the grid 24/7, NGCP is in a position to immediately coordinate with the power plants to ensure that their respective unit protection and control settings will not cause grid instability that could lead to blackouts,” DOE added.*PNA

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