Despite meeting his targets for the household electrification projects of the Department of Energy (DOE) in the first 100 days of the new administration, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the biggest challenge was securing adequate power supply.
In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, the DOE said they met the target 10, 000 for household electrification of depressed areas with partners Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the National Housing Authority (NHA).
As of September, 13, 224 households have been energized by this partnership, DOE data said. The agency partnered with the private sector for its electrification project in missionary areas.
However, Cusi said his biggest challenge is guaranteeing sufficient power supply.
“If you will remember, last July, my first month in office, we experienced intermittent supply of power, instances of brownout. That was the biggest challenge, to make sure it won’t happen again,” he said.
Cusi ordered a technical audit of the power generating plants involved in the red and yellow alerts that caused power interruptions in July and August. The DOE signed memorandum of agreements (MOAs) with the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC)-accredited Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines (IIEE) and the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME). (Read: DOE partners with PSME for technical audit; DOE partners with IIEE to conduct audit on power supply)
“These professional associations, known for their technical knowledge, expertise and competence to assist the DOE in addressing the current power situation, are providing pro-bono services to augment the DOE’s Technical Audit Team for the country’s generation, transmission and distribution facilities,” the audit report said.
A technical audit has also been ordered, covering all electric cooperatives served by the National Power Corp.-Small Power Utilities Group (Napocor-SPUG) and a review of all power supply contracts.
Among other projects during the first 100 days are talks to build a one-stop shop with the USAID-assisted Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS), expected to launch in the final quarter of the year. (Read: DOE, USAID collaborate to review Philippine energy mix)
The agency has started its review on streamlining the permitting and licensing process for power projects. (Read: DOE looking to speed up RE application processes to 25 days)