- Power reserves enough amid El Niño – DoE
MINDANAO’S power supply is sufficient despite the forecast of El Niño peaking in the first half of 2024, a Department of Energy (DoE) in Mindanao said.
Engr. Darwin P. Galang, DoE Mindanao senior science research specialist, said the power reserves on the island are enough to cover the deficiency if the dry spell depletes the hydro-capacity.
As of Jan. 11, 2024, average demand peaked at 2,165 megawatts, while the average supply capacity available is at 3,017 mW. Power reserve average gross reserve at 852 mW.
“Even with the 70% reduction of capacity from our hydro, we are not seeing any deficiency, no red alerts, yellow alerts as far as power supply in Mindanao is concerned,” Galang said during the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Jan. 15.
However, the official said power outages can still be experienced due to some unforeseen events such as during transmission, stressing that it has to be considered an isolated case.
“It is a way of protecting the system kay kung di na sya ma cut, and we dont have protection device nga ibutang, mag sigeg andar bisan naa nay fault, posible masunog siya so mas dakong problema,” he added.
Nevertheless, it can be restored and some parts of Mindanao can back the portion that experienced the outage as the transmission system in the island is looped, as long as protection coordination of the system is working fine.
The official said they have conducted talks with electric cooperatives and distribution utilities on maintenance schedules and to avoid interruptions, especially during summer months.
They are urged to follow the schedule so as not to affect the supply. Full capacity from other sources will be highly needed as hydro capacity is reduced.
With the hydro plants being impaired, and with power being sourced from other facilities, the official said the rate depends on the contract strategy of distribution utilities.
“Apektado atong mga hydro, if kana mabawasan, syempre naay impact sa atong rate but as to unsa kadako, I can’t determine yet,” he added.
As of October 2023, hydro has the biggest share of about 26% out of the total 30.7% share of all renewable energy in Mindanao’s capacity mix. Coal’s percent share is 51.4%, while oil-based is 17.9%.
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