Senator Win Gatchalian wants the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the series of disturbances in the country’s power transmission system in the hope of ensuring a reliable and continuous electricity supply.
The vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Gatchalian filed proposed Senate Resolution No. 607, which essentially calls for an inquiry on the issue.
“These successive transmission system disturbances caused inconvenience to communities and losses to businesses. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines as the operator of the transmission system in the country should be held to account for the root cause of these disturbances,” Gatchalian said.
On May 8, the NGCP reported red and yellow alerts in the Luzon grid due to a tripping of the Bolo-Masinloc 230kV Line 2, leading to the tripping of 2 units of the Masinloc Coal Power Plant which, in turn, caused power loss of 659 megawatts (MW) in the Luzon grid. Such disturbance brought power interruptions in the franchise areas of various distribution facilities across Luzon island. In the Meralco franchise, in particular, more than 300,000 customers in Paco and Sta. Mesa in Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Batangas, Antipolo in Rizal, San Pedro and Binan in Laguna, and San Rafael and Pulilan in Bulacan were affected.
The following day, May 9, Meralco reported power supply cuts due to a temporary system imbalance caused by a sudden plant outage. According to the distribution utility company, the power supply disruption was caused by an automatic load dropping (ALD) of approximately 290 MW, as a result of the tripping of the Duhat-Hermosa 290kV line.
Gatchalian also noted that NGCP reported last April 27 a system disturbance in the Visayas grid, causing a loss of 322.3 MW and power interruptions that persisted until April 30 and lasting up to 12 hours in the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros, affecting over 1.5 million households.
Gatchalian pointed out that the NGCP is mandated under Section 3 of Republic Act No.9511 to operate and maintain the transmission system, grid, and related facilities at all times in accordance with industry standards.