21 May 2012 in Manila Standard Today
Green Power Bukidnon 35 MW biomass power to help alleviate power shortage
THE Energy Department warned Sunday that Mindanao will face a new round of power outages next summer with a projected shortage of 200 megawatts because its reserve power remain thin.
Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras told reporters there was no supply-related power shortage in Mindanao, but the island’s reserves were going down to as low as 34 megawatts during peak periods.
“You can imagine how thin the reserve really is. It’s good we have the [power] barges to take up the slack,” Almendras said.
He said the power outlook in Mindanao next year would depend on the amount of rainfall the island would be getting as the region was largely dependent on hydroelectric plants.
“I’m looking at least 100 megawatts—almost 200 megawatts of shortage,” Almendras said.
“It also depends on the rainfall next year… Over and above that, you have to prepare for the additional demand next year.”
Data from the department previously show that only the 8-megawatt Cabulig hydro power plant of Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co. is expected to come on stream this year, and in December.
Green Power Bukidnon’s 35-megawatt biomass project is slated to start operations next year, the only plant expected to begin commercial operations for the entire 2013.
“Definitely, if we do not have additional generation in Mindanao by next year, during the dry season we will lack power. We are appealing to everyone to transfer generation to Mindanao,” Almendras said.
He said his department was still waiting for the Audit Commission’s decision on the sale of the 102-megawatt Iligan diesel power to the Alsons Group.
“COA is reviewing certain things. There is documentation that needs to be completed,” Almendras said.
He said Mindanao needed the power from the Iligan diesel plant soonest.
“Our target is for the takeover within the year… because we really need that plant running at full 100 megawatts by February next year in time for the dry season in Mindanao,” Almendras said.
“We must not be complacent. We must continue to acknowledge the urgency of increasing the generation capacity in Mindanao. We must accelerate new power generation projects, both traditional and renewable energy.”