Power grid capacity rises over 1,000 MW

Posted on September 28, 2016

MORE than 1,000 megawatts (MW) of new power capacity have been added to the electricity grid in the first half of 2016, bringing the country’s total installed capacity to 20,055 MW as of June, latest data from the Department of Energy (DoE) show.

“Coal power plants remain the major source of Philippine power generation at 46%, with additional plants to come online in the latter part of 2016,” the DoE said.

On Luzon, 662 MW had been added to the grid while projects with an expected capacity of 637 MW went into testing and commissioning phase. The latest data brings the main island’s total capacity to 14,348 MW as of June 2016. The additional capacities in Visayas and Mindanao were 281 MW and 328 MW, respectively.

“Additional capacities from January-June 2016 mainly comprised coal and solar power plants which added 703 MW and 520 MW to the total installed capacity. Other additional capacities from January-June 2016 are oil, hydro and biomass at 36 MW, 1 MW and 12 MW, respectively,” the department said in its report.

On the Luzon and Mindanao grids, coal remained the dominant power source at 48.5% and 40.2%, respectively. Geothermal topped Visayas at 47.2%. Natural gas is the second top source in Luzon at 32.3%, while coal was the second-biggest in Visayas at 38.9% and oil-based plants occupied the same position for Mindanao at 28.8%.

On the demand side, electricity consumption in the first half hit 38 million megawatt-hours (MWh), of which sales accounted for 76%. Systems loss made up 11%, with Luzon proving to be the most efficient as it recorded its systems loss at 10% of the generated electricity, or less than half Visayas’ 24%. Mindanao had 11%. Residential users accounted for 27%, while commercial and industrial consumers had 23% and 22%, respectively.

The DoE said Luzon reached a new all-time high system peak demand at 9,726 MW, which occurred at 2:00 p.m. on May 3, with a corresponding 11,137 MW in available capacity.

“This is 9% higher than the 2015 peak demand at 8,928 MW,” the DoE said.

In the Visayas, peak demand hit 1,878 MW at 2:00 p.m. on May 11 with a corresponding 2,141 MW available capacity. The peak was 6% higher than 2015’s 1,768 MW.

Highest system peak demand in Mindanao at 1,593 MW happened at 1:35 p.m. on June 8, as against 1,641 MW in available capacity. The peak was 5% more than last year’s 1,517 MW. -- Victor V. Saulon