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DOE: The Ilijan power plant is expected to start up on May 26.

The 1,200 megawatts (MW) Ilijan power plant is expected to start up this month, according to a Department of Energy (DOE) official, helping to meet the rising demand for electricity during the dry season.

In an interview given during the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday, DOE Undersecretary Rowena Guevara remarked, “We are pleased that the Ilijan plant’s progress is on schedule and we expect that by May 26, it will operate and contribute power to the grid.”

Once the Ilijan power plant is operational, Guevara claimed, the Luzon grid may avoid any potential yellow alerts in June.

This week, Masinloc Units 1 and 2 tripped, causing yellow and red alerts to be issued for the Luzon grid.

According to the DOE, this forced closure resulted in the loss of more than 600 MW of power supplies.

Guevara said that the Ilijan plant’s restart will result in a 10% boost in Luzon’s electricity supply.

Due to its retrofitting work, the power plant has not been in operation since June of last year.

Guevara noted that in order to prevent power outages, the agency has urged power plant operators to reschedule their maintenance after the dry season.

She claimed that in order to reach their goal operation this year, the DOE is promoting investments in renewable energy (RE) projects.

The energy authority estimated that 1,000 MW of RE projects will start up in 2023.

Guevara claimed that the DOE is also carefully observing the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) transmission line developments. These include the San Jose-Hermosa Transmission Line, the Cebu-Negros-Panay Project III, and the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project.

She remarked in Filipino, “If these three will be finished, we expect that by August, we will be able to avoid the yellow alerts for the remainder of the year.”

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