I also found the following report online:
Mindanao hydroelectric power plants reduce capacity to 50%
By Lino De La Cruz (The Philippine Star) Updated February 14, 2010 12:00 AM
ILIGAN CITY , Philippines – Hydroelectric power plants in Mindanao have been forced to reduce their capacity to 50 percent since Feb. 3 due to the low water inflow into Lake Lanao and Pulangi River because of the onset of El Niño, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said.
Eugene Bicar, NGCP Mindanao system operations head, said power load shedding throughout Mindanao will be enforced the whole month of February as NGCP projects that power supply will remain below comfortable levels.
This is due to the unavailability of the Agus 5, Mindanao coal-fired power plant Unit 2, the Iligan diesel-powered plant, and the Western Mindanao power plant in Zamboanga City, which has reduced its output from 90 to 80 megawatts, Bicar said.
To address the power shortage in the short term, Bicar said the preventive maintenance of the Agus 5 hydroelectric plant’s Units 1 and 2 must be fast-tracked and the repair of Kibawe 138 KVA lines must be completed as soon as possible.
He said the commissioning of the Maramag-Bunawan 230 KVA backbone project would also help in strengthening the network interconnection of the Mindanao grid.
At the same time, Bicar urged the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. to resume the operation of the Iligan diesel-powered plant and to contract additional power generation from embedded generations like the diesel plant in northern Mindanao.
Two-hour rotational blackouts are now being implemented, as power distributors in Mindanao are assigned load allocations to maintain under the curtailment plan.
I remember in the States the talk of El Niño and it causing changes of the weather pattern. An El Niño condition is when there is warmer than normal water surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean and in the opposite La Niña is a cooling surface temperature trend. These surface temperature changes affect the weather patterns all over the world. It can cause increased or decreased hurricane activity and cause flooding rains or decreased precipitation causing draughts.
It is strange because a few months ago I talked about all the rain we were receiving but overall there has been a decrease of rainfall on Mindanao. Since there is a Power Grid where electricity is shared all over the island, decreased rainfall has significantly lowered the lakes and rivers. Not like in America where a winters snow pack is monitored for the summer water levels, here it never snows so an average rainfall is needed all year long to supplement the lakes levels.
I also found plans for a new hydroelectric to be constructed starting this year but will not be online until 2014. So far, now let us do our rain dances and pray for many flooding downpours. For Davao, I hope the rains fall further away where the lakes and rivers are and less In Davao.