The Department of Energy (DOE) has suspended the operations of new renewable energy power plants in Negros and Panay areas due to power dispatch problems caused by transmission facilities.
“We have a problem in transmitting supply of current renewable energy projects in Panay and Negros,” DOE-Visayas Supervisor Jose Rey Maleza said at an event by the Energy Development Corp. in Bacolod City on Monday.
In particular, Maleza emphasized, there are areas in the Visayan region with limited infrastructure that causes some problems in the power dispatch.
The request was brought to the attention of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), who then forwarded the matter to the government.
As per DOE’s order, the moratorium will only cover proposed power plants, excluding RE facilities that are currently running.
Maleza said the suspension is temporary until such time that transmission infrastructures will be in place. “The supply came first before the facilities,” he added.
Negros Occidental will continue to experience intermittent power outages following the 6.5 magnitude earthquake in July, affecting the supply of energy being carried in the area.
“The marshaling stations connecting the power grid between Luzon and Visayas are also still being repaired, which means Luzon could also not supply any power to the Visayas whenever there is a shortage,” Maleza said.
He added it is still unknown when the power supply in the Visayas would be normalized because the needed spare parts for the remaining substations are yet to be imported in the country.
Negros Occidental is now unofficially the Philippines’ solar power capital, among other RE establishments in the area such as biomass power plants and upcoming hydro projects in its six major river systems.