The daily rotational brownouts here and the neighboring areas rose to at least five hours following another cutback in power supplies implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
Engr. Santiago Tudio, general manager of the South Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Socoteco)-I, said they were forced to extend the scheduled daily brownouts to five hours from the previous four hours implemented after the NGCP further reduced its power load for the South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat service areas.
“NGCP relayed to us on Tuesday evening another change in its allotted power and it resulted to a daily brownout of at least five hours based on the computations from our engineering department,” an advisory from Socoteco’s member services division said.
Socoteco-I serves the municipalities of Tampakan, Tantangan, Surallah, Banga, Norala, Sto. Nino, T’boli Lake Sebu and the city of Koronadal in South Cotabato...
as well as the municipality of Lutayan in Sultan Kudarat.
The electric cooperative implemented power supply cut to its area feeders in two rotations at two hours and 30 minutes each.
The five-hour brownout is so far the worst since the NGCP implemented its load shedding scheme in central and southern Mindanao last November.
In late January, local power utility firms started imposing daily rotational brownouts of at least two hours and it increased to three hours by the second week of this month.
In an advisory, the NGCP said the Mindanao grid still has limited power supply due to generation deficiency triggered by the decreasing water levels of the Pulangi River in Bukidnon and the Lake Lanao-Agus River System in Lanao del Sur.
It said the reduction to critical low levels of the two water resources, which hosts the National Power Corporation’s (NAPOCOR) main hydroelectric plants, was mainly caused by the continuing onslaught of the long dry spell or El Niño Phenomenon.
“Due to very low water inflow to the power plants' reservoirs, the capabilities of Agus plants were reduced by 50 percent. Pulangi plant's capability was reduced by as much as 75 percent,” the advisory said.
The NGCP reported that the existing power resources in Mindanao onl
y has an available capacity of 863 megawatts (MW), dropping by more than 200 MW.
With Mindanao grid’s peak load leveling at 1,220 MW, the NGCP said the island’s power deficiency has far at least 357 MW.