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 Good news: Blackouts over in Mindanao

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Magic Man13
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PostSubject: Good news: Blackouts over in Mindanao   Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:08 am

MINDANAO will be spared from blackouts for the rest of the year after two power barges were dispatched to the island to add 200 megawatts to the total capacity, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said over the weekend.

“We expect [a steady supply of power] for the rest of the year, but every two weeks we will hold meetings in preparation for 2011,” Almendras said.

He said the Energy Regulatory Commission approved the dispatch of Power Barges 117 and 118 from the Aboitiz Group, and “considering the urgency of the power situation in Mindanao.”

National Grid Corp. spokesman Cynthia Perez Alabanza confirmed the commission’s decision, which allowed the company to resume buying power from the two barges.

The cost of the electricity could be spread out among the grid because the commission treated the output from the two barges as dispatch reserves, Alabanza said.

National Grid, a private corporation that maintains and operates the Philippines’ transmission network, will pass on the cost to distribution utilities at more than P7 per kilowatt hour, but that would be “blended” with other charges, such as the cost of electricity from hydro-electric and coal plants in Mindanao, Alabanza said.

At the same time, the Maramag-Bunawan Line 1, with a rated capacity of 330 megawatts, came on line and was connected to the grid in the first week of October.

The improved 138-kilovolt line from Maramag in Bukidnon to Bunawan in Davao City would improve the stability and reliability of power transmission services to Davao and other southern Mindanao areas, Alabanza said.

National Grid said its transmission towers, lines, and substations were fully operational and ready to deliver available power from generators to grid users.

Both back-up lines were intended to reinforce and improve the primary lines and increase the transfer capacity from the north to the south of Mindanao.

But National Grid said a better balance must be struck as about 90 percent of the total generation in the grid was still coming from the northern part of Mindanao.

“More base-load plants must be located in the south,” the company said.

Alena Mae Flores, Manila Standard Today
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