May 27, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

Here’s another thing member-consumers of the Benguet Electric Cooperative have to contend with aside from the regular service interruptions: the rotational power interruptions implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The NGCP started issuing advisories on manual load dropping or the implementation of rotational service interruptions due to the fluctuating supply in the Luzon grid.

On April 16, some of Beneco’s service areas experienced more than an hour of power interruption as a result of the load dropping implemented by the NGCP on its 69-kilovolt lines at its substation in Beckel, La Trinidad, Benguet.

NGCP’s notice to Beneco indicated the load dropping was supposed to be from 3 to 4 p.m., but power was interrupted from 4:15 and was restored at 5:28 p.m.

The rotational brownout does not only affect Beneco, but other power distribution utilities in Luzon due to the thinning supply on the grid. The NGCP is the one that chooses the area where it will implement load dropping.

On April 18, the NGCP issued a red alert status from 3 to 4 p.m. and from 8 to 10 p.m. and a yellow alert status from 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 8 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m.

At the time, the capacity available on the grid was 13,397 megawatts while the peak demand was 12,892MW. 

The red alert status is issued when the power supply is insufficient to meet consumer demand and the transmission grid’s requirements.

A yellow alert status meanwhile is issued when supply is not enough to meet the grid’s reserve or contingency requirement.

The yellow and red alert status on the Luzon grid were lifted on April 19.

NGCP implements rotational power interruptions to help stabilize supply in the grid.

Aside from the NGCP’s rotational interruptions, Beneco member-consumers are confronted by the regular scheduled and unscheduled service disruptions.

Scheduled interruptions are done when Beneco implements preventive maintenance activities while unscheduled disruptions are usually due to bumped electricity posts, trees falling on lines, electrocuted birds or snakes, and lines catching fires, among other reasons.