Power grids are likely to be in normal condition this week as consumer demand declines, preliminary data from the Department of Energy (DOE) show.

'On the demand (side), it's already on the downtrend, but the major factor will be the supply side,' DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau director Irma Exconde yesterday told The STAR.

She, however, clarified that they cannot provide a clear outlook yet as the agency is still checking the power plants on forced outages to determine if these will come online this week.

'Our initial figures indicate a normal power situation for (this) week, if the forced outages will be within the assumed level of about 900 to 1,000 megawatts. Last week, it reached as high as 2,267 MW, and we are still awaiting the latest report from the power plants,' Exconde said.

The Luzon grid was placed under yellow alert for three straight days last week following reduced capacities and forced outages at several power plants. A yellow alert is issued when the operating margin is insufficient to meet the transmission grid's contingency requirement.

Exconde clarified that alert notices do not automatically translate to power interruptions.

'It will still depend if there will be no power plants that will be back online before the peak period and/or demand will be lower than expected and there'll be no additional power plants that will go on forced outages,' she said.

Meanwhile, DOE Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan assured the public over the weekend that the country's power supply remains sufficient.

He said the agency has beefed up its efforts to monitor supply by directly communicating with power plant operators and capitalizing on social media platforms to acquire data.

'As you can observe, there were almost no power interruptions or red alerts because we're constantly monitoring the situation,' Marasigan said.

'In the coming weeks, we're not seeing manual load dropping or red alerts, but we're not ruling out the possibility of a yellow alert (on the power grids),' he added.

A red alert is raised when the power supply is insufficient to meet consumer demand and the grid's regulatory requirements.

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