MANILA, Philippines – A power outage hit the entire region of Western Visayas due to the shutdown of Panay plants.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a power disruption impacted the entirety of Western Visayas on Tuesday at noon. The disruption occurred when Unit 1 of the Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) coal-fired power plant experienced a trip caused by a boiler feed pump problem.
Following this, both Unit 1 of Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) and Unit 2 of PEDC experienced simultaneous trips due to an imbalance in grid voltage.
“Other power plants within the Visayas grid were also affected by the Panay grid disturbances,” DOE said.
As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the Department of Energy reported that Panay power plants were providing 198.1 megawatts (MW), supplemented by an additional 50.9 MW from other Visayan sources. This totals a served load of 245 MW.
“NGCP is focusing its efforts on stabilizing voltage and has extended feedback power to Iloilo and PEDC (Panay Energy Development Corp.),” the grid operator said in a statement.
“Load restoration will be done conservatively, by matching loads to restored generation, to prevent repeated voltage failure,” they added.
Electric cooperatives in Iloilo, Guimaras, Capiz, Negros, Antique, and Aklan have issued notices regarding the abrupt power interruption. The NGCP lifted the yellow alert on the Visayas grid at 9:01 p.m.
However, by 9:30 p.m, the NGCP reported that only four out of the 13 power plants on Panay Island were operational.
“Restoration of affected plants is ongoing,” the grid operator said.
“While NGCP did not implement manual load dropping, distribution utilities may implement load drops due to voltage-sensitive loads or manual disconnection to secure voltage levels,” they added.
Shirley Laurente, the General Manager of Guimaras Electric Cooperative (GUIMELCO) and President of the Electric Cooperatives Association of Region VI Inc. (ECAR-VI), mentioned her ongoing coordination with fellow electric cooperatives in Panay. She awaits their feedback regarding the impacts of the power disruption.
“In Guimaras, we are conducting a manual load dropping. Out of our 10-MW demand, we dropped around 2.5 MW, so our available power for Guimaras is around 7.5 MW,” she said.
In the meantime, a power outage caused the Iloilo City government to dismiss employees early on Tuesday and cancel classes the following day. This spurred other local government units to take similar measures.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas urged the NGCP and the Department of Energy (DOE) to address the power issue. He also stated that the Regional Development Council’s infrastructure development committee would promptly investigate the incident.