Power outages in Oro continue

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

ALTHOUGH the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is still imposing power curtailment to distribution utilities like Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco), there are still days when brownouts are shorter than what has been announced.

Marilyn Chavez, senior manager and customer and community relations of Cepalco, said the power distribution varies depending on what NGCP allows.

“Sometimes, it’s strict, sometimes, they allow (overloading),” Chavez told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro in a telephone interview Monday afternoon.


She also said that there are shorter brownouts on weekends because overloading is allowed where there are offices, factories, and industries closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

So far, Chavez added, the load can provide to more hours with electricity, especially after the coal-fired power plant owned and operated by Steag State Power Inc. (SPI) at Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, connected about 105 megawatts (MW) to the National Power Corporation (NPC), which allotted about 8-10 MW to Cepalco.

As of noon Monday, Cepalco has been loaded with 67 MW, still 73 MW short of the 140 MW that it needs everyday to provide for the power consumers of the city.

According to the NGCP Twitter account, @NGCP_ALERT, the available capacity of Mindanao on May 19 is 1,214 MW, with a system peak of 1,206 MW and gross reserve of 7 MW.

There is still no clear schedule when then power curtailments will stop because NGCP is still anticipating the prolonged dry season or El Niño, Chavez said.

El Niño is expected to be felt by June this year.

Another Steag turbine generator unit with a generating capacity of 105 MW will be connected to the Mindanao grid on or before June 1, 2014.

“We hope to increase the power (through the added megawatts) and hopefully remove the rotational brownout kasi may Minergy power plant tayo (because we have Minergy power plant),” Chavez said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 20, 2014.

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