THE recent energization of the P52 billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) will allow Mindanao-based power distributors access to additional power supply, an official from Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) said.

Asec. Romeo Montenegro, MinDa deputy executive director, said the interconnection will help prevent power shortages in Mindanao.

“It will benefit in terms of Mindanao being able to export [power] outside Mindanao, whatever excess we have in terms of electricity,” Montenegro said in an interview, May 5.

Montenegro said the interconnection could help Mindanao electric cooperatives and players to have more options for their power supply.

He mentioned the 2010 rotational brownouts in Mindanao, which were caused by a shortage of power supply. However, due to Mindanao not being connected to the national grid, it was not able to source from other power generators to fill the supply gap.

“On occasions, mahitabo man gyud na sya naay mga [there will be] times na we are in a precarious situation in terms of supply, then we can utilize whatever is available outside Mindanao,” he added.

Montenegro, one of the proponents in pushing through the program, also said this is part of a long-term plan to integrate Mindanao with Asean by interconnecting with neighboring countries.

“It gives that opportunity for Mindanao to be connected also to other countries in Asean, naay study gihimo ang ADB looking at the Borneo-Mindanao interconnection, if connected na siya, it will connect Philippines to the other asean countries as well,”

“It also gives opportunities either to sell or to buy, now the overall benefit of that in the long-term, is Mindanao being integrated to the national grid, kasi that’s the overall target under the electric power industry,” Montenegro said.

However, Montenegro said the plan is in its “planning stages”, with ADB conducting preliminary feasibility studies, but it is still being reviewed.

“There are many things to consider, in terms of cost, dako dako na na investment and the policies because our power industry is determined by policy considerations kinahanglan pa siya isort out unsa ang magiging arrangement before it will be viable,” Montenegro said.

“What’s important is right now, we’re now integrated as one Philippine national grid through that MVIP,” Montenegro added.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced on May 3, 2023 that it successfully energized the P52-billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP).

In a statement posted in Facebook, NGCP said the 184-circuit kilometer (km) project connects the power grids of Mindanao and Visayas. It has a transfer capacity of 450 megawatts (MW) and can be expandable to 900 MW.

"We expect to gradually increase the MVIP's transfer capacity to 50 megawatts by mid-May, and 112 MW by the end of the month, before energizing to its full transfer capacity of 450 MW by the third quarter of this year," NGCP said.

The MVIP project also said the consumers can benefit from its reliable and sustainable power transmission service "that will lessen the instances of power interruptions." ICE