THE 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, Jan. 26, 2024.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the ceremonial switch-on of the MVIP in Malacañang together with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) President Anthony Almeda, marking the beginning of 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 on Friday livestreamed by Radio Television Malacañang.
It will allow the seamless transmission of electricity generated from power plants located in the Mindanao region to power grids in the Visayas and Luzon and vice versa, which Marcos said will bring “enormous” economic potentials across the country.
MVIP has a transfer capacity of 450 megawatts (MW) of electricity. It can be expandable to as much as 900 MW.
A 184 circuit-kilometer High-Voltage Direct Current submarine transmission line connects the Mindanao and Visayas grids. The line runs from Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte to Santander, Cebu’s southernmost town.
An initial load of 22.5 MW was successfully transmitted from Mindanao to the Visayas via the MVIP on April 30, 2023.
In his opening remarks, Lotilla said the project’s completion had made Cebu a crucial hub with its significant transmission lines of Cebu-Negros-Panay, Cebu-Negros-Bohol, and Cebu-Leyte that will keep the country’s power system interconnected.
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 incidents like the devastating three-day blackout in Panay Island in the first week of January 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 Cebu-Negros-Panay Backbone Project Stage 3 by March 2024 and the P10.2 billion 500 kV Hermosa-San Jose 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 provide 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 of NGCP’s rates.
Marcos also tasked the ERC together with the Department of Energy to look into the proposal that will allow third parties to construct transmission projects at the pace required by the country’s growth.