Visayas needs additional power plants after 2017

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero December 22,2015 - 11:41 PM

The Visayas will have enough power supply next year, but additional capacity would be needed toward the end of 2017, a Department of Energy (DOE) official said.

Engineer Saul Gonzales, chief of the Energy Industry Management division, said the “critical period would be between November 2017 and January 2018.”

“We need more power investments for constant progress. For 2017 we need additional power plant capacity.

Hopefully there are those who are thinking of projects already,” Gonzales told reporters.

Based on the agency’s Visayas supply-demand outlook for 2013-2020, the projected deficit is 100 megawatts (MW) by May next year and 121 MW by 2017.

Gonzales said the commissioning of two coal-fired power plants in the third quarter of 2016, the 125-MW Concepcion Coal 1 and 125-MW Concepcion Coal 2 in Iloilo, is expected to accommodate the deficit, but no other projects for 2017 onwards have been identified.

As of yesterday, Gonzales said the Visayas grid has enough power supply.

“Okay ra ang supply versus the demand (Supply is okay versus demand). Reserves are, most of the time, yellow but this is still comfortable,” he said. A yellow status means the re serves are below the required level of 263 MW to 274 MW for Visayas.

From December 22 to 28 (see table), the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines projected reserves of between 56 MW (on December 28) and 419 MW (on December 25) for the Visayas grid. Peak consumption for the period is projected at between 1,434 MW and 1,695 MW while capacity will range from 1,754 MW to 1,853 MW.

For Cebu, Gonzales said the current peak demand is 885 MW. As the province has an embedded capacity of 446 MW only, it imports the lacking energy from plants in Tongonan in Leyte and Palinpinon in Negros.

Gonzales said an estimated $1.4 million per MW will be needed in terms of investments.

Aside from more investments, challenges for the agency include resilience against natural calamities.

“Lately, typhoon Nona affected Eastern Visayas. Transmission lines of NGCP fell down. Several electricity posts also fell. We also have trips in power due to calamities,” Gonzales said.

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TAGS: Department of Energy, DOE, power supply, Visayas

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