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DOE monitoring power situation amid El Niño

MANILA, Philippines — Following the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s recent declaration that the warm and dry season has begun, the Department of Energy (DOE) said the country’s power situation is currently being monitored to ensure energy security.

The DOE said it is “closely” monitoring the integrity and reliability of the grid by consistently updating the power outlook that considers any changes in the operation of power generating units.

Moreover, the DOE is coordinating with government agencies to facilitate “timely approval” of regulatory requirements for the completion of power facilities.

“The summer period exerts significant pressure on electricity demand due to increased cooling needs, leading to peak demand shifts in consumption and infrastructure strain,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

He added, “We are, therefore, closely coordinating with all the stakeholders to carefully manage and plan for the effects of the summer period and the ongoing El Niño to ensure reliable and sustainable electricity supply. At the same time, we request the support of everyone during this challenging period by being conscious in our use of electricity.”

According to DOE, generation facilities under testing and commissioning are allowed to provide additional capacity to the grid, which correspondingly has directed the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to expedite the completion.

In addition, NGCP was reminded of the completion of the transmission projects by the first half of the year, particularly the Hermosa-San Jose 500 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project and Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) 230 kV Stage 3 backbone project.

Completion of CNP is targeted by the end of the month “as committed by the NGCP.”

Meanwhile, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines facilitated the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market registration of the newly operational power generation facilities.

In a statement, DOE gave assurance that NGCP and all distribution utilities are prepared to activate their Interruptible Load Program (ILP), a program established by DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to alleviate