Veco gets power from Luzon firm, brownouts stop

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


MORE than a month after super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas, the franchise area of the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco), for the first time, did not experience rotational brownouts yesterday.

Veco chief operating officer Sebastian Lacson said this is because Veco was able to get power feeds from a plant in Luzon.

“Today (yesterday) is really good start since we have no brownout because we started receiving feeds from Luzon. Hopefully, going forward into the future, that will continue,” he said.

However, Lacson said they cannot give assurance to the public that there will no longer be rotational brownouts in the coming days.

“We don’t have an assurance since the feed could be available today, and gone tomorrow. Unya ubang power plants, kung naay mawagtang, we will really be affected. We don’t have reserves in other words,” he said.

Veco implemented rotational brownouts after Yolanda since the Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant and the Unified Leyte Grid were heavily damaged during the typhoon.

Supply

The Cebu-Negros-Panay Grid gets one third of its 450-megawatt power consumption from these two plants.

If there will again be rotational brownouts in the coming days, Lacson said they cannot grant the request of the City Government to spare the city’s night high schools.

The council earlier asked Veco not to include barangays of the city that have night high schools, such as Mambaling, Tisa, Lahug, Sambag I, Banilad, Zapatera, Talamban and Mabolo.

This, so that the classes of the students will not be interrupted.

Lacson yesterday explained that their power feeders cover an entire area and not specific areas like schools or residential areas among others.

“It (council’s request) is hard, bordering on impossible to implement,” he said.

Solutions

Lacson was at City Hall yesterday to attend the first power command conference that Mayor Michael Rama called. The representatives of the National Grid Corp. and other power players also attended the meeting.

Rama, in a separate interview, said he called the meeting in order to come up with solutions that will reduce power outages in Cebu.

The mayor said there is a need for power supply to be stabilized considering that there is Christmas, New Year and the Sinulog celebration next year.

He said the power outages should be immediately addressed soon so criminality will not rise and investors will not be discouraged.

Rama will be calling again another command conference with Veco, NGCP and other power players on Friday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2013.

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