AN OFFICIAL from the Department of Energy (DOE)-Mindanao Field Office assured the public of ample power supply in Mindanao despite the looming threat of El Niño.
During the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday morning, January 15, 2024, at SM City Davao, Engr. Darwin P. Galang, a senior science research specialist at the DOE-Mindanao Field Office, said that Mindanao has a comfortable power reserve.
He highlighted that the average consumption for the first semester of 2024 is 2,165 megawatts (MG), while the average capacity is 3,017 MG, resulting in a substantial reserve of 852 MG.
“Malaki po ang reserba natin dito sa Mindanao, as far as supply is concerned (We have a huge reserve here in Mindanao, as far as supply is concerned),” he said.
Galang said that the department conducted simulations to project the effects of El Niño on power supply.
Even with a 70 percent reduction in the capacity of around ten hydropower plants, there are no foreseen deficiencies in Mindanao's power supply.
Addressing concerns about the Panay blackout, he clarified that it was an isolated incident. Technical incidents or outages occurred in plants, but he stressed the difficulty of such incidents in Panay due to being an island.
In Mindanao, the transition systems are looped, providing backup support when one plant is down.
Mindanao is interconnected with Luzon and Visayas through the Dapitan and Cebu grid. In case of energy supply difficulties in these regions, Mindanao can assist, but there are limitations due to the capacity of the connecting lines.
Despite occasional blackouts in certain areas of Mindanao, Galang attributed them to various factors in the electric supply chain, such as transmission facilities and distribution systems.
For instance, a power outage may result from a fallen tree on a utility post.
“Actually this is a way of protecting the system man gyud kay kung dili man gyud na siya ma-cut wala tay protection system, wala tay protection device nga gibutang magsige ra siyag andar miskag naa nay fault possibleng masunog siya so mas dako nga problema (Actually this is a way of protecting the system because if we do not cut it, we won’t have a protection system, we don’t have a protection device installed, it will continue to work even though there is a possibility that it will catch a fire, so it will be a bigger problem),” He said.
In essence, the occasional outages serve as a systematic approach to safeguard the power infrastructure, allowing for the identification, repair, and clearance of issues before restoring connections. RGP