THE Luzon grid lost a total of 1,226 megawatts (MW) on Monday as four power plant units went on an unplanned outage that resulted in the thinning of reserves.

The Department of Energy (DoE) said a yellow alert notice had been issued covering 11 a.m. to 12 noon, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The notice was lifted by grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) at 3:30 p.m., the department said.

The DoE identified the plants that went on an unscheduled shutdown as unit 2 of the Masinloc plant at 344 MW; unit 1 of Pagbilao plant at 382 MW; unit 1 of South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. at 150 MW; and unit 2 of the Malaya plant at 350 MW.

Other power plants have operated at a capacity lower than its rated output, namely: unit 2 of the Calaca plant at 200 MW from 300 MW; unit 2 of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. at 100 MW from 150 MW; and unit 3 of the Pagbilao plant at 315 MW from 420 MW.

The DoE said it was “closely coordinating with the power industry players to ensure the delivery of electricity services to consumers.”

“It includes the facilitation of incoming plants that are undergoing commissioning and testing such as Masinloc 3 for Luzon and TVI2 (Therma Visayas, Inc. unit 2) for Visayas,” it said in a statement.

The DoE did not disclose the peak demand on Monday nor the available capacity during the day. It previously said that the agency and the NGCP will no longer be disclosing yellow alert notices until after they were lifted.

NGCP earlier expected Monday’s available generating capacity for Luzon at 11,559 MW as against an expected peak demand of 10,178 MW. The DoE earlier said that it wanted reserve power to be at least 25% of the day’s peak demand.

As this developed, consumer group Laban Konsyumer, Inc. (LKI) asked the DoE and the Energy Regulatory Commission to be transparent on the status of power plants to allow electricity users to monitor the power situation of the grid on a daily basis.

“It would be best if the government could provide consumers a list of all the plants and an inventory of when these power plants scheduled shutdown. There should be contingency plans in place for unscheduled outages due to technical problems and/or force majeure,” LKI President Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said in a statement. — Victor V. Saulon