THE Department of Energy (DoE) has released a draft circular that will require power generation plants connected to the transmission grid to submit their planned or scheduled outages for three years.

The draft, which was posted by the DoE for industry comment, comes after the grid operator Monday announced that Luzon would be on “yellow“ alert because some power plants were on unplanned outages. The forced shutdown happened when other plants were on their scheduled maintenance outage.

The draft circular provides guidelines for the planned outage schedules of power plants and transmission facilities, and the publication of the grid operating and maintenance program.

The DoE said it would be accepting proposals and comment until Dec. 13.

Under the proposal, power generating companies are to submit three-year planned outage schedules for their power plants to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which will then compile a grid operating program (GOP).

NGCP will devise a mechanism to arrive at an optimal generation and transmission planned outage schedule, which will be the basis of the grid operating and maintenance program (GOMP).

NGCP will submit to the DoE the GOMP every third quarter of the year, for review and approval.

The DoE, in its review of the resulting reserve profile, will direct the necessary adjustments in the generation and transmission planned outage schedules. NGCP and the concerned generating companies will then be informed of any changes in the submitted GOMP.

The first year of the GOMP schedule will be considered binding and can be changed during its implementation, subject to DoE approval.

The second- and third-year schedules will be considered indicative and reference for the medium-term power supply and demand outlook.

On Monday, the power plants that went on unplanned outage were Prime Meridian Power Corp.’s Avion natural gas-fired power plant unit 2, with installed capacity of 50.3 megawatts (MW) and dependable capacity of 48 MW, because of gas turbine trouble; South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.’s coal-fired power plant unit 2, with installed capacity of 135 MW, and dependable capacity of 122 MW, because of a cyclone separator tube leak; and Quezon Power Ltd. Co.’s coal-fired power plant, with installed capacity of 511 MW and dependable capacity of 460 MW, because of an inlet valve issue and high furnace pressure.

The others are: GN Power Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd., Co.’s coal-fired power plant unit 1, with installed capacity of 345 MW and dependable capacity of 316 MW, to facilitate correction of governor valves; AP Renewables, Inc.’s Tiwi geothermal power plant unit 6, with installed capacity of 57 MW and dependable capacity of 50 MW, for maintenance.

In all, their total installed capacity is 1,098 MW and dependable capacity 996 MW. — Victor V. Saulon