Meralco implements 1-hour rotating brownouts

Posted at 05/16/2014 2:26 PM | Updated as of 05/16/2014 7:11 PM

MANILA (4th UPDATE) – Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) implemented rotating brownouts on Friday that lasted for an hour to address power deficiency in the Luzon grid.

Meralco said there were no more rotating power interruptions as of 4:48 p.m.

Meralco said the low energy output was caused by the emergency shutdown of the Pagbilao power plant in Quezon province.

The 1-hour rotating brownouts affected parts of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Bulacan.

“There is a tentative 1 hour rotating brownout due to a power supply deficiency affecting portions of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Marilao, Bulacan. Please bear with us,” Meralco said early Friday afternoon on Twitter.

The affected barangays in Manila were Quiapo, Sampaloc, Sta. Cruz and Tondo, while affected barangays in Quezon City include Lourdes, San Isidro Labrador, Sta. Teresita, NS Amoranto, Paang Bundok and Salvacion.

In Caloocan, areas hit by power interruptions were Dagat-Dagatan, Grace Park, Maypajo, and Sampalukan.

In Navotas, the areas of North Bay Blvd., Bagumbayan South, Bangculasi and Dagat-Dagatan experienced 1-hour brownouts.

In Bulacan, affected areas included Marilao, Meycauayan, Lambakin, Lias, Saog, and Malhagan.

Although not mentioned in Meralco’s announcement, Cavite residents in Kawit, Imus, and Gen. Trias also experienced brownouts on Friday.

A total of 2 percent of Meralco customers were affected by the brownouts--78,089 are residential customers, 5,690 are commercial and 169 are industrial clients.

Meralco said the rotating power interruptions would last up to 5 p.m.

RED ALERT IN LUZON

Luzon was placed on "red alert" from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. due to zero reserves brought about by the emergency shutdown of Pagbilao I, which has a capacity of 375 megawatts.

The Pagbilao I plant went on emergency shutdown at 2:28 p.m. on Friday due to a “governor valve problem,” according to Team Energy external affairs head Greggy Romualdez.

“[We] estimate for it to be back online between 5-6 days. All efforts are being undertaken to lessen downtime and have the unit back online as soon as possible,” Romualdez said in a statement.

According to the National Grid Power Corporation, the available power in the Luzon grid is 8,139 megawatts versus a demand of 8,403 megawatts, or a deficiency of more than 200 megawatts.

Malacañang, meanwhile, expects the power situation in Luzon to return to normal by 7 p.m. Friday night.

In a late press briefing in Malacañan Palace, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla reported on the power situation during today's Cabinet meeting.

Coloma said Petilla reported that earlier this week, the 600-megawatt Sual power plant in Pangasinan bogged down.

The loss of the Sual plant and the shutdown of the Pagbilao power plant led to the loss of 975 megawatts, causing the rotational brownouts.

Coloma said Petilla assured the Cabinet that the supply issue will be resolved by 7 p.m. Friday.

The Sual plant is expected to be back on line on Saturday. -- Reports from Alvin Elchico and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News