NGCP seeks multi-lateral solution to Zamboanga Peninsula power problem

NGCP seeks multi-lateral solution to Zamboanga Peninsula power problem

August 6, 2020 11 By Mindanao Sun
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By Antonio Manaytay

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has sought the help of the government to ensure quality and reliability of power supply in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Zamboanga Peninsula has an uptick of under-voltage and voltage fluctuations from January to May 2020. This power stability issue has affected the power stability in the area, particularly the areas under the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMCELCO).

NGCP said it has already addressed the issue as early as 2018 by installing capacitor banks in its Pitogo Substation.

Four 7,5MVAR capacitor banks in Pitogo Substation have catered to the needs of ZAMCELCO and Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC). NGCP has certified WMPC, a power supplier, as a provider of Ancillary Services (AS) for Dispatchable Reserve and Reactive Power Support.

NGCP had also conducted a “transposition activity for the Aurora-Nagamin and Nagamin-Zamboanga 138kV lines to help mitigate unbalanced voltage in the area.”

The power grid operator said the transposition activity had mitigated the imbalance of power distribution.

To enhance the voltage situation in the area, NGCP had also energized the Kauswagan-Lala-Aurora line, and the Lala-Naga (Min)-Zamboanga line.

The completion of the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) would also help mitigate the power stability issue, NGCP added.

Stop gap

But these are only a stop gap measures. Larger issues have remained, the power grid operator pointed out.

These issues include the lack of power generation plants, and lack of unimpeded access to the right-of-way of older lines for maintenance.

Power generation plants, according to NGCP, are necessary to provide voltage support and address the increasing demand for power in the area.

The right-of-way issue has specifically affected the 350-kilometer Aurora-Naga Min-Zamboanga line. This line, built before the NGCP took over the transmission operations, had weak configuration, which is a factor in the issues affecting quality of power.

NGCP said it has “exhausted all short and mid-term remedial measures” to address the situation, affecting ZAMCELCO and WMPC.

These measures, it said, are short term and temporary.

“We appeal to the government authorities in charge of long-term planning to adopt a more holistic approach to power development,” NGCP said.

This holistic approach has to better the coordination of the grid and make the locations of power plant more strategic, the company stressed.

Unpaid ROW

NGCP also appealed the resolution of unpaid ROW of the lines built by the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo).

Access to the line’s right-of-way is important for the company to conduct maintenance activities of its transmission lines.

The ROW issues have limited NGCP’s access the old and long lines in the area. This, the company explained, has contributed to line trippings and power interruptions,

NGCP has already done what it can to address the ROW concerns.  It conducted regular vegetation trimming activities and public information campaigns.

But these are not enough.

“Under its Concession Agreement, the obligation to settle these issues remains with TransCo,” NGCP explained.

Public support

The company urged the public to report any hazardous activity within the transmission lines.

Kite flying, high growing vegetation, and construction activities could trigger unscheduled power interruptions.

They can report transmission-related breaches or incidents to 0917-TIPNGCP (0917-8476427) / 0918-TIPNGCP (0918-8476427) hotline and email at TIPNGCP@ngcp.ph.

Multi-lateral

The company said the problem needs “a multilateral, long-term solution and thorough implementation from our governing agencies.”

Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), NGCP is limited to the operations and maintenance of power transmission facilities.

The company cannot intervene in generation or distribution issues. It is not also responsible for ROW concerns over lines, built prior to its transmission operations in 2009.

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