Brownouts to continue to hound entire Visayas

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Thursday, December 12, 2013


THE power sector could not say when supply in Cebu will return to normal.

With this, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III urged industrial firms with power generation equipment to use these facilities so they will not compete with other consumers during peak hours.

Davide was referring to the interruptible load program (ILP), initiated by the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) to address the supply shortage in 2009.

In April 2009, Veco got 26 firms to sign up for the program.

Davide met yesterday with stakeholders in the energy sector to discuss solutions to the power supply shortage, which is causing rotational brownouts in Cebu.

Geothermal

Veco chief operating officer Sebastian Lacson said the supply will depend on how soon the geothermal plant in Leyte resumes operation.

Super typhoon Yolanda damaged the facilities of the geothermal plant in Leyte, causing a shortage in the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid.

Lacson said the distribution utility firm gets 120 megawatts a day from Leyte.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said Cebu alone needs 725 megawatts.

Reduce

Lacson said the ILP can ease the shortage as participating industries can use their generator sets, reducing the demand in the process.

He said the ILP will unload 30 megawatts from Veco.

Without the ILP, Lacson said the one- to two-hour brownouts at present would stretch to four hours.

Lacson recommended that the ILP be implemented in the entire Visayas.

The Energy Regulatory Commission assured that there will no power rate increase in the Visayas, which was hardest hit by Yolanda.

ERC said the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in the Visayas has been suspended indefinitely, as well.

Lacson recommended, however, that WESM be allowed to operate again, saying power rates do not increase because of the electricity market.

He also proposed that the Visayas be connected to the Luzon grid and that NGCP be given assistance to obtain right-of-way for its transmission expansion projects.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 13, 2013.

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