NGCP activates Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection at full capacity

NEA gets support from DOE official to become “authority”

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) holds a ceremonial switch-on in Cebu, Manila, and Lanao del Norte marking the complete activation of the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP).

“This event marks the successful energization at full capacity of this monumental undertaking, a vision of unifying the grid proudly coming to fruition under NGCP,” said the NGCP in a statement. 

The interconnection was envisioned in the 1980s but had been dumped due to implementation problems. In 2011, NGCP revived the forgotten project by doing a feasibility study. 

The MVIP contained an 184-circuit-kilometer (ckm) High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) submarine transmission line that connected the grids of Mindanao and Visayas. It offered a transfer capacity of 450 megawatts (MW) reaching up to 900 MW.

To improve the transmission of energy, the project also included converter stations in both regions and more than 500 km of overhead wires. 

“Without transmission lines from new power generation plants to the grid, their available capacity would have been wasted or stranded. This was true for around 600 MW from coal plants in Bataan, from renewable energy plants in Negros, and as much as 800 MW from Mindanao,” said Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla. 

Lotilla further stated that the country’s grid stability was guaranteed by the activation of the reserves market yesterday, ensuring that there were adequate reserves on hand. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) is now mapping NGCP’s vital transmission lines while cooperating with local government units (LGU) to establish backup plans for the underwater cables in the event of damage.

“This is a testament of our dedication and commitment to fulfilling our mandate of improving, upgrading, expanding, and reinforcing the Philippine power grid,” said NGCP President Anthony Almeda.

Upon energization in April of last year, the high-voltage submarine and overhead lines successfully transmitted an initial load of 22.5 MW from Mindanao to Visayas. Eventually, the system underwent a gradual ramp-up process, ultimately reaching its full capacity.