Bohol has been reconnected to Visayas Grid six days ahead of schedule, as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said has energized the two temporary transmission towers, which would provide power to the province in place of the two special towers Typhoon Odette brought down in December 2021.
The two temporary towers, which form part of the emergency restoration system, are part of a line that bypasses the actual path of the 138-kilovolt Tugas-Ubay line, which in turn links to the Leyte-Bohol interconnection. Bohol depends on Leyte for 60% of its power requirements.
Located in Ubay on mainland Bohol and Pres. C.P. Garcia town on Lapinig Island, the temporary towers were set up on Sunday. Stringing, or the placement of cables connecting both towers, soon commenced.
NGCP originally aimed to reconnect Bohol to the grid by February 15.
The grid firm said that the permanent restoration of the two special towers is now ongoing. Using the “build back better” principle, the new special towers would be 120 meters tall – 10 meters shorter than the toppled towers – but sturdier given that the design that will be used is meant for 500-kV lines. The new towers could withstand wind speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour (kph) versus the previous 240 kph.
NGCP is looking to finish the two new special towers on April 30 – nine days before the May 9 presidential elections.
Power distribution, however, remains a problem for Bohol. Based on data from the National Electrification Administration as of February 3, the Bohol I Electric Cooperative (BOHECO I) has restored power to 13.45% of its customers, while the Bohol II Electric Cooperative (BOHECO II) has resumed its services to 14.34% of its franchise area. The Bohol Light Co., Inc. (BLCI), meanwhile, has restored power to 54% of its customers as of Sunday, based on a report from The Bohol Chronicle.
BOHECO I covers the western part of the province, except Tagbilaran City, which is served by BLCI. BOHECO II, meanwhile, covers the eastern half.