Western Visayas continues to grapple with ongoing and persistent electricity problems, which have the potential to impede the region’s rapid development. Just yesterday, an unscheduled power interruption hit the region, causing a system disturbance that affected the Visayas grid at 1:51 p.m., as reported by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
In response to the disturbance, the NGCP issued an advisory warning the public of a red alert status between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and a yellow alert status from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A red alert indicates a situation where the contingency reserve is zero or a generation deficiency exists, while a yellow alert signifies a condition where total reserves are less than the capacity of the largest plant online.
Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) reported that the grid disturbance led to outages in various power generation plants across Panay Island, including PEDC itself. The corporation is working to restore normal operations as soon as possible. With power plants offline, over 563 megawatts of supply were lost in the grid and distribution utilities, causing prolonged blackouts and manual load dropping.
MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power), Iloilo City’s sole power distributor, managed to restore power supply to several feeders by 4:37 p.m. yesterday. They are waiting for clearance from NGCP to energize the remaining feeders and will do so based on the allowable load given by the corporation.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has expressed his concern over the region-wide blackout and is asking NGCP to explain the situation. He urged the corporation to improve their facilities to prevent such occurrences, emphasizing that the region’s rapid development will be adversely affected by constant blackouts. Mayor Treñas also encouraged consumers to demand better services from power providers, given that they operate as a monopoly.
This recent power interruption comes on the heels of another massive brownout that affected Panay Island and Guimaras on February 20 this year. The cause of that power loss was identified as a snake intrusion in the Panay Diesel Power Plant 1 (PDPP 1) Transformer No. 1, leading to a fault in the 138kV line. The plant’s protection system failed to isolate the fault, causing a cascading tripping of power plants across Panay Island.
The repeated power issues in Western Visayas highlight the need for improved infrastructure and more reliable power generation and distribution systems. As the region continues to develop, it is essential that the electricity supply remains stable and resilient to ensure sustained growth and the well-being of its inhabitants.