Kepco boosts Visayas grid

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11:40 PM July 17th, 2017

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By: Victor Anthony V. Silva, July 17th, 2017 11:40 PM

THE power situation in the Visayas is expected to improve with the synchronization of Kepco SPC Power Corp. (KSPC) to the grid.

In a statement, KSPC said its power plants based in Naga City, Cebu are now operating at their full 200 megawatt capacity after they finished maintenance works on one of its two 100-MW units ahead of schedule yesterday.

“It is supposed to come back online on  July 20, 2017, but due to the extra efforts extended by the company, Unit 2 was normalized yesterday ahead of schedule,” Park Hee Young, KSPC vice president and plant manager, said.

This development will help improve the power situation in Cebu, Negros, and Panay provinces following the damage brought to geothermal plants in Leyte province by the July 6 earthquake.

Most of the plants are owned by the Energy Development Corp. (EDC). KSPC said they are now appealing to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to prioritize their customers in the power supply allocation.

“(We ask them to) refrain from including these distribution utilities from the rotational load-shedding [or] power interruptions,” Park said.

KSPC supplies power to five electric cooperatives in the entire Negros Island Region, one in Tacloban City, Leyte; the Bohol Light Co. Inc. (BLCI) in Tagbilaran City in Bohol; and Mactan Electric Co. (MECO) in Mactan Island.

KSPC also supplies the northern part of Cebu through Cebu II Electric Cooperative Inc., (CEBECO II); and the southern part of Cebu through Cebu I Electric Cooperative Inc. (CEBECO I).

NGCP said it is constrained to manage the Visayas grid, giving priority to grid stability, dispatch efficiency, and respect for bilateral contracts, whenever possible.

The company said this mechanism is not new and is necessary to ensure that available power is transmitted to those capable of receiving it during emergency situations.

The NGCP did not notify the Cebu-based Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) to implement rotational brownouts yesterday, which the utility has been implementing since July 7 due to a limited power supply in the grid.

But in yesterday’s advisory, the NGCP said the islands of Leyte, Samar, Bohol, and Biliran will continue to experience rotating power interruptions, particularly during peak hours, due to Ormoc Substation transformer limitations.

As of July 17, three out of six transformers are now energized while the remaining three are still under observation.

Energization had been rescheduled to July 23, which is still subject to satisfactory results, NGCP said.

The NGCP’s Ormoc-Tongonan 136-kV line has been ready since July 8 to transmit as much as 112 megawatts from Greencore, which committed to supply 40 MW out of its 70 MW pre-earthquake capacity by July 19.

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