ERC approves Mindanao transmission backbone project

ERC approves Mindanao transmission backbone project

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the P7 billion Mindanao 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission backbone project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

“The approval of the 230-kV transmission backbone project will ensure sufficiency of supply, the reliability of power system and the power transfer in the Mindanao grid,” ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said on Tuesday.

The project will enable transmission facilities travelling from north and south of Mindanao to accommodate the entry of new power plants in the area, the ERC said in a statement.

This would also allow generated capacities of active power plants to be distributed at their maximum capacities and transmitted across Mindanao to solve line congestion and load curtailment.

“With both supply and demand continuously increasing, the capacities of the existing transmission lines and substations will no longer be adequate by 2017,” the NGCP said.

The project is expected to cost around P6.858 billion and completed by 2017.

The Mindanao project will support the 2,400 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity expected to enter northern and southern parts of Mindanao in 2018.

The project approval followed earlier approvals, such as the Malita – Matanao 230 kV transmission line in 2014 that joined the Matano – Toril – Bunawan 230 kV line and relieve the overloading Davao – Toril – Matanano 138 kV transmission line.

Meanwhile, the Baloi – Kauswagan – Aurora 230 kV transmission line approved in 2015 will accommodate the capacities generated by GNPower’s proposed coal – fired plant in Lanao del Norte.

Five power plants are expected to go online from 2016 to 2018 in Mindanao from Filinvest Development Corp., GN Power, Therma South, San Miguel Corp and Southern Mindanao.