DOE Chief dismayed over slow pace of Transmission Development Plan

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Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi has ordered the review of the concession agreement of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) after delays in one of the backbones of the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP).

“On the concession agreement, what we’re doing is we’re having it reviewed to make sure [the Transmission Development Plan] will be enforced,” Cusi said at the Energy Investment Forum.

The Energy secretary expressed his dismay with the snail-paced action of the NGCP on the transmission plans and projects.

Ito po, mainit na ulo ko sa Transmission Development Plan. This is a new administration but we’re doing again the study. The studying phase has never been finished. We’re pushing this, we’re really pushing this in coordination with NGCP especially in Mindanao where we have sufficient power supply,” Cusi said.

He has ordered the faster implementation of the TDP to support the incoming additional requirement that includes the completion of the Mindanao-Visayas interconnection “to finally achieve our vision of a national grid.”

At present, only Luzon and Visayas are interconnected, leaving Mindanao isolated. The interconnection between Luzon and Visayas allows both grids to get supply from one another during supply shortage.

The National Grid is currently doing a study on the western interconnection route of Visayas and Mindanao grids. The western option will run from Cebu-Negros to Zamboanga Del Norte.

However, Cusi said the plan is taking too long and cannot be further delayed.

The power interconnection between Visayas and Mindanao was first proposed in the 1980s.

“What we want is before this administration ends, it will be completed,” he said.

Cusi has also ordered NGCP to reassess the circuit breakers of all assets to prevent the possibility of widespread brownouts.

“Findings showed that the circuit breakers caused the power outage because they don’t have the right specifications. That is being looked at. We asked them to look at it to avoid re-occurrence,” Cusi said.

NGCP won a 25-year concession to run the country’s transmission network as it took over the management of the national transmission network in 2008 from the National Transmission Co. (TransCo.)

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