Operating power system in 2018: Is there sufficient power to meet the demand?

That is the most expected question raised by electricity users. Reporter from Electricity Magazine had an interview with Mr. Ngo Son Hai - Deputy General Director of EVN to get the answer for the question, at the same time, review overall results of power system operation in 2017 in the context of many difficulties as well as challenges.

Mr. Ngo Son Hai

Reporter: Could you please tell us the biggest difficulties, challenges in the power system operation in 2017?

Mr. Ngo Son Hai: In 2017, despite the year’s demand on load increased at lower level as planned, EVN faced difficulties and challenges due to extraordinary changes, harsh weather, the number of storms impacting on our country reached a record figure over the last 20 years (16 storms).

Sometimes, extreme heat in large area is occurring in most of provinces and cities in the North and Central regions resulting in a sharp increase of power demand. The 500kV transmission system is always operated at high load to ensure power supply to the South. Meanwhile, the requirements for power quality, ensuring the security of power supply also increasingly go up, etc.

With the good preparation and timely, synchronous, serious and active implementation of EVN as well as the member units in all situations, the operation of the electricity system in 2017 was successful, ensuring the safe, reliable, continuous, hi-quality and economically optimal power supply.

Reporter: To gain such results, what solutions have been implemented by EVN and other units, Sir?

Mr. Ngo Son Hai: In order to ensure the safe, stable operation of the power system in 2017, at the end of 2016, under the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, EVN has cooperated with related units to urge the member units to prepare the plans for power supply and electricity system operation of 2017. Based on the actual situation, the plans are accordingly reviewed and adjusted monthly and weekly.

From the last months of 2016, EVN instructed its units to use water in a saving manner, keep the highest possible water level for hydropower reservoirs, particularly in the Central and the South, by the end of 31 March 2017, enough water  to best meet the needs of the system, as well as the demand for water supply for downstream areas in the peak months of heat.

In order to ensure the available power capacity for the system, particularly during the dry season, EVN instructed its units to focus on repairing any power sources and grids from the end of 2016 and other months in Quarter I/2017 aiming to attain the highest level of power availability so as to well meet the options of flexible operation in the quarter II/2017.

For the investment in developing power system, EVN drastically instructed and created conditions for units to early put new power plants and important works of power grid into operation as scheduled. Power sources are the generation units of Vinh Tan 4 Thermal Power Plant (1,200MW), Thai Binh 1 (600MW). The total system capacity was raised to approximately 45,000MW. For the power grid, in 2017, the power was supplied and many key projects were put into operation, ensuring the power supply to key load centers such as Dong Anh 500kV substation, Hiep Hoa - Dong Anh 500kV transmission line, AT2 transformer in 500kV Pho Noi substation, etc.

In respect of the load dispatch, transmission capacity of 500kV lines was properly managed and operated, especially in grid sections of Ha Tinh - Da Nang, Vung Ang - Da Nang to transmit power from the North to the Central and the South.

In 2017, EVN closely worked with Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited to supply sufficient fuel and ensure stable operation of power plants.

Along with the solutions to operation, EVN also properly implemented the management and communication, launching emulation movements within the sector to carry out safe and efficient operation and production; Actively propagandized and mobilized the community to take part in programme on saving power, etc. Therefore, up to now, the power supply has always been well implemented with the safe, continuous, hi-quality and efficient system.

In 2018, EVN develops many scenarios to ensure safe, stable operation of the power system

Reporter: How does EVN develop operating plans in 2018, sir?

Mr. Ngo Son Hai: Based on updating the situation of power load, the gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by from 6.5 - 6.7% compared to 2017, etc., EVN prepared 3 power load options: The primary option with demand for load forecasted at 190.5 billion kWh, increasing by 9.79%. The peak option is 192.4 billion kWh, increasing by 10.79%. In addition, in order to check the ability of power supply in case of extraordinary load, EVN also prepared the option of load growth under the Adjusted Power Plan VII of 194.1 billion kWh, increasing by 11.86 % compared to 2017. For all prepared options, the national electricity system will basically generate adequate electric power for load demand in 2018.

Reporter: What are the advantages and disadvantages of EVN in securing power supply, Sir?

Mr. Ngo Son Hai: On advantages, the year 2018 is considered as the year with good hydropower reserves compared with many recent years, when the majority of hydroelectric reservoirs were filled up with water. New coal-fired thermal power plants in the South have been steadily operating such as Vinh Tan 2; Duyen Hai 1, 3. In 2018, it is expected that Vinh Tan 4, Vinh Tan 1 Thermal Power Plants will take part in the power system.

On disadvantaged, it is mainly the issue of power supply in the dry season (from March to June 2018). The Southern power system has not yet been self-balanced in 2018 while receiving huge power amount from the North and Central through the 500kV line of about 25% of the total regional demand. Thus, most of the time in 2018, transmission on the 500kV line is very high, thereby potentially risks may be occurred in case of transmission system incidents.

With the careful, synchronous, serious preparation from all member units of EVN, coordination and support of related stakeholders, up to now, it can be confirmed that in 2018, the Group will supply sufficient power for economic, social development, national defense security and  people’s life.

Reporter: In 2017, local interruptions of power supply occurred in some areas. What direction shall EVN give to its member units to stop this situation in 2018?

Mr. Ngo Son Hai: Overall, in 2017, the system did not face the lack of power. The local interruptions of power supply occurred in short-term in some areas due to overload of power lines, transformers in the extreme hot weather in the North and impacts of storms No. 2, 10 and 12 in the Central region. In 2017, the maximum capacity of the system was recorded at 30,842 MW, increasing by 9.66% compared to 2016. At that time, the power system was operated in a very tense situation but basically met the load demands.

The result of energy balance calculation in 2018 shows that the system can meet the load demand with the output of 217.6 - 221.8 billion kWh and the maximum capacity of 34,000MW - 34,600MW. In order to ensure safe and stable power supply to customers, EVN shall put new 840MW power sources into operation (excluding projects of non-EVN investors), completed and put into operation 271 power grid works with the capacity from 110 to 500kV. In addition to ensuring the construction progress of new works, the Group instructed the units to promote repairing and maintaining power grids from now to the end of Quarter I/2018 to ensure the highest availability level of the grid, meeting the electric power demand of customers in 2018 and the coming years.

Reporter: Thank for your time, Sir!

  • 23/02/2018 03:07
  • evn.com.vn