Consumers urged to conserve energy on long weekend

By Kris Crismundo

April 28, 2023, 2:51 pm

MANILA – Consumers are advised to conserve energy this coming long weekend from April 29 to May 1 as one power plant in Luzon is set for an unplanned shutdown.
“The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the 647 megawatts (MW) Sual Coal-fired Power Plant (CFPP) Unit 1 will undergo an unplanned maintenance from 29 April 2023 – 01 May 2023 to resolve the build-up of a leak from the plant's boiler tube and cleaning of the generator stator lot bar to rectify increase in temperature,” the DOE said in a statement Friday.
The DOE said minimal or no power interruptions, however, are expected despite the shutdown of Sual power plant as the maintenance will be done during a long weekend when power demand is relatively low.
“The DOE also requests public cooperation by rationalizing the use of power during the peak demand hours of 11 a.m.–12 noon, 2 p.m.–3 p.m., and 6 p.m.–7 p.m. During these times, all offices and residences using air conditioners are also encouraged to set their thermostat at 25 degrees Celsius,” it added.
The DOE said it has coordinated with the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), other distribution utilities, and other retail electricity suppliers to activate and expand their Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to soften the demand during the Sual shutdown.
It said medical facilities, through the Department of Health, will be advised to prepare their generators in case of power interruptions during the period.
The unplanned maintenance of a unit of Sual power plant was given a green light by the DOE following an assessment meeting held last Tuesday, together with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the TeaM Sual Corp. (TSC).
TSC initially asked the energy authorities for a maintenance shutdown from April 21 to 23, or for a longer period of seven days from May 5 to 11.
“The DOE, however, assessed that if the maintenance would be a longer seven-day duration on 5-11 May 2023, it would result in a possible yellow alert, or worst, red alert on Weeks 18 (1 to 7 May 2023) and Week 19 (8 to 14 May 2023),” it said.
Instead, the generator slot bar repair will be done around June or July, according to the DOE.
“To avoid worsening the technical problem while waiting for the scheduled repair, Sual Unit 1 operates at a derated output of 580 MW from its full capacity of 647 MW,” it added. (PNA)