08 MAY 2012
Reserve power offered to Mindanao, but cost turns off users
The good news is that the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is making available what it said were power reserves that would help ease power outages that many areas in Mindanao are currently suffering from.
The bad news, however, is no one wants to pay higher for it.
Cynthia Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson, said on Friday that the NGCP was making the reserve power available to augment electric supply in Mindanao but pricing obviously kept power utilities away.
Alabanza did not say how much NGCP was selling its 120-megawatt reserve power for, which was purchased from the Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine Inc.
She said NGCP maintained reserve power for regulating voltage and frequency to prevent the collapse of the Mindanao grid in case the capacity generated by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) from the hydropower plants fall short.
“We don’t turn off distribution utilities at will,” she said.
Alabanza said that based on the Napocor supply, the power system capacity for Mindanao recently settled at 970 MW and had a peak of 1,217 MW. This has resulted in a deficiency in power reserve of 247 MW.
“With a curtailment level of 247 MW, we are on a deficiency mode,” she said.
In view of the power deficiency, NGCP is forced to continue resorting to voluntary power curtailment “to protect the grid,” she said.
“We only cut off or turn off distribution if they (power distributors) go above their allocation,” Alabanza said.
In the face of the Mindanao power shortage, Alabanza said the long-term solution should be more investments in the power industry
Read article source in Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 8, 2012