Tuesday, May 10, 2016

National power grid is election-ready – NGCP

by Myrna Velasco May 8, 2016

Power industry stakeholders, including the operator of the national transmission highway, have committed seamless electricity service throughout the election period.
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) particularly noted that long before May 9, it already started implementing “contingency plan to ensure that the country’s power transmission network is geared up for the nationwide polls.”
The transmission firm’s readiness was once again tested last week with fresh attack on its critical tower No. 25, the one supporting the capacity wheeling of generated electricity from Agus 1 and 2 plants to the Mindanao grid.
However, because of the alternate line already installed, grid isolation of the generating plants had been avoided this time.
Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada similarly indicated that many of the right-of-way (ROW) problems of NGCP in Mindanao had been resolved prior to the election period. As of Wednesday last week (May 4), she noted that only one claimant had an unresolved issue so far.
NGCP claimed that it has been aligning “efforts with the Department of Energy and the rest of the power industry to ensure a blackout-free May elections.”
The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), on the other hand, has emphasized that it fully completed “inspection, maintenance and repair of its distribution facilities” to guarantee that these will work safely and efficiently during the pivotal voting and canvassing processes.
The utility firm went as far as inspecting all polling and canvassing centers within its franchise area, and “has made the necessary recommendations to the respective school/building administrators to address potential troubles in said places.”
Still, in cases of unexpected and unwanted power outages, Meralco noted that “more than 200 generators will be on standby on election day to be carried by roving Meralco crews.”
It added that “these generator sets intend to provide basic lighting to polling and canvassing places, and to ensure the continuity of the conduct of elections in case of unexpected power interruptions.”
In a related development, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) stipulated that it “expects better supply situation in the Mindanao grid during the conduct of the 2016 national and local elections.”
MinDA director of Investment Promotions and Public Affairs Romeo Montenegro has stressed that since last Friday (May 6), Mindanao has been “enjoying a more steady supply of power and experiencing extremely minimal or zero power interruptions.” (MMV)

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