Power utility firm to implement rotating power outages

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Thursday, March 13, 2014


LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental – Rotating power outages will be implemented in the western part of Misamis Oriental due to insufficient supply of electricity granted to Misamis Oriental-1 Rural Electric Service Cooperative’s (Moresco-1), a power distribution utility based here.

Engineer Colleen Tarcelo, Moresco-1 Opol service area manager, said the demand of electricity in Mindanao is higher than the supply available in the island’s power grid.

To meet the deficiency, Tarcelo said they will initiate rotating power outages in areas serviced by Moresco-1.

He said the rotating brownouts will last two to three hours per day either twice or thrice a week in areas scheduled for blackout until the supply of power in the Mindanao Grid will stabilize.

Marebec Cagalawan, Moresco-1 corporate public relations officer, said the cooperative supplies electricity to 75,000 member-consumers to around 156 villages including 17 villages in Talakag, Bukidnon and 15 hinterland villages in Cagayan de Oro.

Tarcelo cited that in the website of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the power outlook for Mindanao from March 7 to 14 implies shows a lack of supply from the power generators.

“In terms of megawatts (MW), the available capacity of the combined generation in Mindanao is just 1,209MW,” Tarcelo said.

Referring to the same data from NGCP’s website, Tarcelo said the system loads for the same schedule are 1,201 and 1,2055MW because “the usage is not maintained.”

He said that in normal situations, the supply is much higher than the demand.

For instance, Tarcelo said the supply Tuesday was at 1,209MW but the system demand was at 1,293MW showing the 84MW deficiency of supply in the Mindanao Grid.

On top of the 84MW deficiency, he said for the NGCP to operate efficiently an additional 52MW to 70MW of power supply over the demand of the consumers is required.

The Mindanao Power Outlook documents provided by Moresco-1 to Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro City shows that power supply from coal-fired power plants is zero from March 7 to 13, 2014.

Tarcelo said Steag State Power coal-fired power plant provides 210MW to the Mindanao Grid.

Steag State Power’s website posted that coal-fired power plants provide 18.3 percent of Mindanao’s electricity last year.

Solution

As an immediate solution to the undersupply of electricity, Tarcelo said Moresco-1 will use the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) through tapping companies in the area to provide electricity using their own power generators.

In the same document, it shows that Misamis Oriental-based companies like W.L. Foods, Donau Carbon, Northstar Asia Holding Corporation, and Zest-O are consumers that could be tapped for the ILP.

He added Moresco-1 can also procure a modular regulation set that can supply 2MW of power that will be available in just 150 days.

Tarcelo encourages their consumers to conserve electricity during peak hours, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

He said 90 percent of their consumers are residential consumers but the commercial and industrial consumers take the 50 percent of the electrical supply.

As for the medium-term solutions to the power undersupply, Moresco-1 will enter into a contract with Therma South Inc. coal-fired power plant in the last quarter of 2014.

Moresco-1 is also looking forward to get into bilateral contracts with other independent power producers (IPPs).

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 13, 2014.

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