Eyes on Sabah's power reserve margin as hot weather spikes electricity demand

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) is taking a cautious approach towards power supply distribution in view of the ongoing hot spell.

SESB general manager (operations systems) Adrian Leo Mosigil said in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 27) that more power usage is expected with the high temperatures recorded of late.

“This can affect the stability of our grid system,” he said, adding that at present, demand during peak times reached 1,090.73MW.

“The average power supply is 1,300MW so with this (increase in) demand, we have a very small reserve margin,” he said.

The situation was compounded by the temporary shutdown of an independent power producer (IPP) plant in Kimanis, Papar, for maintenance works on one of its gas turbines, he added.

“With around a 12% reserve margin for Sabah and Labuan, we are being cautious in our power supply management efforts,” he said.

On Feb 23, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) issued an advisory stating that 15 places in Malaysia, including Tangkak in Johor and Beaufort in Sabah, are under Level 1 heatwave alert.

A Level 1 alert is issued when temperatures at a location are between 35°C and 37°C for three consecutive days.

The country, particularly the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia, is seeing the end of the north-east monsoon in March, with El Nino conditions also present.

This period usually sees drier and warmer weather.

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