THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) said on Monday that six power plants in Luzon went on an unplanned outage, putting the system under a “yellow” alert between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. as reserve power thinned after the forced shutdown. DoE said the six plants have an installed capacity of 1,165 megawatts (MW), of which 1,130 MW are “dependable.” Of the six plants, the biggest in terms of capacity is TeaM Energy Corp.’s Sual coal-fired power plant unit 1 with a dependable capacity of 647 MW. It listed the cause of the unplanned outage as “condenser tube leak; ongoing washing or boiler and turbine to remove contaminated water with sodium and chloride.” Second was GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. with a dependable capacity of 316 MW, which went on a maintenance outage to facilitate the correction valves. The four other plants have a dependable capacity of up to 60 MW. The DoE said the outage were due to reasons outside management control, referring to the outage of the Malampaya offshore gas project, which fuels the country’s gas-fired power plants. Malampaya’s planned shutdown affected three power plants with a total capacity of 1,620 MW. “We are closely monitoring the situation,” said Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella. — Victor V. Saulon