DOE: Lower demand to offset impact of El Niño in power sector

An official of the Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday said the El Niño phenomenon is not expected to have major impact on the country’s power sector for the rest of the year as it is offset by lower power demand.

During the Laging Handa briefing, DOE Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said El Niño can possibly reduce the generation of hydropower plants by 70 percent in July from only 50 percent this month.

However, Guevara said the projected power requirements for this year are not being reached, with demand lower by 300 to 500 megawatts (MW).

“So because of that, we do not see that El Niño would be a major problem for this year for our hydroelectric power,” she said in Filipino.

Meanwhile, Guevara said there will be possibly four yellow alerts for the rest of 2023 — one in the third week of this month and three more by August — due to El Niño.

She said that since the Ilijan power plant is expected to contribute an additional 720 MW to the grid, yellow alerts will be limited to four towards the end of the year.

“Due to El Niño, we are closely monitoring our hydroelectric power plants, especially the Angat plant with 280 MW capacity, Kalayaan at 720 MW, Magat at 345 MW, and San Roque at 435 MW,” she added.

The DOE raises yellow alerts when there is a thinning of power reserve in the system with demand approaching critical levels. Unlike red alert that causes rotational brownouts, there is still sufficient supply of power in yellow alert and would not cause any power interruption. (PNA)