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Brownout Update Info for Mindanao

With my article and comments, I decided to try to research more about the situation. I also tried to get some information about the power generation plants are on Mindanao.

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.

10 Responses to “Brownout Update Info for Mindanao”

  1. Caesar Erel says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I just attended a regional meeting of the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers, Inc. in Gensan last Feb 26-27. The topic on brownouts in Mindanao mentioned that the series of brownouts that we are experiencing now is just a sample of what is to come. Hopefully, the drought period will be not that long enough.

    There are talks in the professional field of the Electrical Engineering about reviving the issue of the Bataan Nuclear Power plant….it was costly to build but not put on operation…but worse, its more costly to try to retrofit and repair it than compared to constructing it in the first place.

    Its a wait and see for now…

    • Bruce says:

      Ceasar,
      Thank you for the information. I hope they find as many ways possible to get us out and keep us out of this brownout problem.

  2. Marvin says:

    Does the government give any financial incentives towards the cost of solar panels on commercial buildings, tax incentives for green roof decks on new construction, any financial help programs for conserving energy by the business sector? All I ever hear about are programs for farmers.

  3. Evelyn says:

    i hope the govt will do something about the brownout issues…

  4. Per says:

    They should send some people to Island to learn how to do things electric. I dont understand why a country so rich in volcanic heat would choose to use hydro-power. Its totally beyond me.

    Just stick a pipe in the ground, let the volcanic heat steam it and let it run all the power-plants you can imagine. The amount of thermal power in Ph should be all but staggering.

  5. Kenneth Crawley says:

    The power company finally has made a schedule for the “Brownout” (Misnomer, the word should be Blackout)
    http://citadel.seitoukai.net/2010/03/25/davao-rotational-brownout-march-26-update/

    I looked up the words Brownout Blackout on the internet. There was an abundance of sites with the definition, they all were the same. Brownout is a lower voltage of electricity causing the lights to dim.
    Blackout is a complete outage of Power.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_outage

    • Bruce says:

      Kenneth,
      As you see here, there are many English words used differently that the way we used them in America. As you stated, in America a Brownout is when they lower the available electricity and a Blackout is when the power goes off completely. Here a Brownout is a localized outage and a Blackout is when the whole region loses power.

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