Friday, October 9, 2009

Rotating brownouts hit Metro Manila

MANILA – Distribution utility Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said that it cannot determine until when rotating brownouts being implemented in wide part of Metro Manila will end.A fire affected one of the four 300 MVA transformers in the sub-station in Taytay, Rizal Wednesday night triggering the tripping off of the other transformers and the 115-kiloVolt lines of the Meralco sub-sector areas.It took firemen almost an hour to control the blaze.Authorities also had to use firefighting chemicals and retardants since the transformer reportedly contained oil.The fire was declared under control around 10:30 p.m.

The other transformer units available at the substation have also been cut off from the system because its control cables have been affected by the fire incident.
The affected transformer supplies power to 11 Meralco substations that service eastern Metro Manila.

Meralco officials said close to a million households are now suffering the three-hour rotating brownouts as a measure to mitigate a more massive, widespread power interruption caused by the transmission trouble at the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines' (NGCP) Dolores substation in Taytay, Rizal.

These brownouts affect areas in the eastern part of its franchise.

Meralco further said had the manual load dropping (MLD) not been imposed to, the power outage would have been more massive and may have resulted to a "system wide blackout."

The company could not say up to when the interruptions would be implemented, saying that “it all depends on the resolution of the transmission problem of the NGCP.”

The series of power outages began late Wednesday night in several parts of Metro Manila and Rizal after power was cut off to 13 Meralco substations including those situated in St. Anthony, Manggahan, Parang, Masinag, Marikina, Santolan, Cainta, Shangri-la, Mandaluyong, Hillcrest, Dolores, Cubao bank no. 2, and New Teresa.
This resulted to outages in various portions of Mandaluyong, Pasig, Marikina, Taguig; parts of Quezon City including Cubao.

Outages were also experienced in Cainta, Angono, Taytay, Binangonan, Antipolo, San Mateo and Montalban.

As of 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, power has already been restored to most of the affected areas after Meralco opted to shift load or transfer sourced power to operational substations.

Only Dolores 44 XM and portions of Dolores 47 XM were not restored.
At 6:39 a.m. Thursday, Meralco resorted to MLD affecting circuits served by Cubao and Marikina substations in order to ease the critical loading of Araneta-Kamuning 115 kV line.

Three-hour rotating brownouts may also be implemented Friday during noon-peak and three hours during the evening-peak periods.

Meralco though is doing its best to shorten the duration of the brownouts.

Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes ordered to fast track the repairs to unburden consumers suffering and experiencing the three hour rotating brownouts.

“I am confident that Meralco and NGCP will be able to re-establish connection of power in the areas and this should be done immediately. Restoring power will restore balance in those areas,” Reyes said.

Soonest possible time
Earlier, the NGCP, operator of the country’s transmission system, assured that supply of power in the eastern part of Metro Manila will be restored the soonest possible time.

Meralco had warned residents of eastern Metro Manila and Rizal province to brace for rotating brownouts ranging from three to four hours.

The warning came after Wednesday’s incident where a transformer of the NGCP in Taytay town was damaged.

Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina Quezon City and parts of Rizal including Cainta, Angono, Taytay, Binangonan, and Antipolo City went out of power supply around 9 p.m. Wednesday, minutes after Dolores substation of NGCP caught fire.

Meralco has at least five 115-kiloVolt lines that draw power from the Dolores substation.

Because of the power shutdown, Meralco is implementing a three-hour rotating brownout in the affected areas.

Meralco external communications manager Joe Zaldarriaga said the power interruptions will be implemented to minimize the disruptions in the affected areas such as Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan, Quezon City, and Rizal province.
“We are implementing rotating brownouts to accommodate those affected (by Wednesday’s incident) … we appeal for understanding.”

Repairs, rehabilitation
But Ma. Cristina Cabalhin, head of NGCP’s corporate communications, said repairs and rehabilitation of the damaged transformers at its Dolores substation in Taytay, Rizal now are ongoing.

NGCP started conducting the requisite system test and one transformer unit “could be restored tonight,” she added.

“If we could restore one transformer it is likely that the rotating brownouts will be reduced,” Cabalhin said over a telephone interview.

Meralco said it will implement rotating brownouts lasting three hours maximum twice a day in its franchise area in Metro Manila while the transformers are not yet available.

As of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, 180 megawatts of power load have already been dropped from the Luzon grid.

To recall, Meralco said there are still 41,000 of their clients who remain without power due to Typhoon Ondoy which hit the country last month.

Areas with no power due to floodwaters include parts of Marikina, Cainta, Pasig, Taguig and parts of Binan, and Muntilupa.

NGCP meanwhile failed to give any timeframe on the completion of the rehabilitation and repairs of the Dolores substation.

“We really do not know when we could complete it (the repair) but we hope to do it soon,” the NCGP official said.


Grr. Fate is playing a cruel joke on us Ondoy survivors. And it's not funny.


Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin