TSMC shared energy from its backup generators to help parts of Taipei avoid power outages.

According to a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times, on April 15, state-owned power company Taipower asked the chip manufacturer to help reduce pressure on the power grid after the failure of eight of the state’s power-generating units in the wake of 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred earlier this month.

Taipei, Taiwan – Getty Images

Taipower told the news outlet that the earthquake had caused failures in Heping, Taichung, Kuoguang, Haihu, and other units, with reported damage including pipeline distortions or leaking furnace tubes.

In a statement, Taipower spokesperson Cai Zhimeng told the Commerical Times that TSMC used its diesel generators to supply 200MWh of electricity to the city.

According to the report, the power company initially believed that its peak backup capacity rate at night was within the safe range of six to seven percent. However, this fell to three percent on the evening of April 15, leading Taipower to seek assistance from TSMC.

Zhimeng added that TSMC and Taipower have a “tacit understanding” and the chip manufacturers provided the power from its generators voluntarily, without signing a contract. However, despite the support from TSMC on April 15, Taipei suburb Taoyuan reported a two-hour blackout the following day.

In addition to the damage caused by the earthquake, Taipower said that the rising temperatures ahead of Taiwanese summer had exacerbated the issue and caused additional units to fail.

The report said that production at TSMC’s facility has not been impacted by the power outages. Zhimeng also stressed that TSMC had helped to increase power supply in the region and has not caused a reduction in the city’s electricity consumption.