POWER grids in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are now physically connected with the inauguration and commercial energization of the P52-billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) on Friday, January 26, 2024.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the ceremonial switch-on of the MVIP on Friday at the Malacañan, together with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) president Anthony Almeda.
The switch-on marked the beginning of an improved power stability and reliability and power sharing across the country.
"It's the first time in the history of our nation that three major power grids in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are now physically connected," Marcos said in his speech.
The connection will allow the seamless transmission of electricity generated from power plants located in Mindanao to power grids in Visayas and Luzon and vice versa.
Marcos said this will bring what he called “enormous” economic potential across the country.
MVIP has a transfer capacity of 450 megawatts (MW) and carries 184 circuit-kilometer (ckm) High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) submarine transmission lines connecting the power grids in Mindanao and Visayas through Santander-Dapitan Transmission Line. It can be expandable to as much as 900MW.
An initial load of 22.5 MW was successfully transmitted from Mindanao to Visayas via MVIP on April 30, 2023.
Under the One Grid 2020 program of NGCP, the transmission line was a vital link between the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao grids in a unified power grid for a more stable and secure power supply and sharing across the three major islands of the country.
With this landmark development, Marcos said similar incidents of the devastating three-day blackout in Panay Island during the first week of January 2024 will no longer occur again.
"The power interruption caused P3.8 billion in economic losses in the province of Iloilo alone notwithstanding the inconvenience that it brought to the people of Western Visayas," Marcos said.
"This incident emphasizes the vital role of interconnection and we cannot afford another round of this costly interruption, not only in Panay Island but anywhere in the country," he added.
With these, Marcos asked the NGCP to fulfill its promise to complete soon other vital interconnection projects, including the 230 kilovolts (kV) Cebu-Negros-Panay Backbone Project Stage 3 by March 2024 and the P10.2 500 kV Hermosa-San Jose (HSJ) transmission line in Luzon in February 2024.
"The realization of our One Nation, One Grid aspiration is definitely a crucial turning point for this country in ensuring reliable power at all times," he said.
Marcos said he will bestow continued government support for the NGCP to timely finish future vital interconnection projects, ensuring stable and reliable energy supply in the Philippines.
He ordered the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to fast-track the completion of the reset on NGCP's rate.
Marcos also tasked ERC together with the Department of Energy (DOE) to look into the proposal that will allow third parties to construct transmission projects at the pace required by the country's growth.
In his opening remarks, Lotilla said regarding the project's completion, it made Cebu a crucial hub such as significant transmission lines of Cebu-Negros-Panay, Cebu-Negros-Bohol, and Cebu-Leyte that will keep the country's power system interconnected. (EHP)