Grid operator restores vital power lines in Panay Island, Leyte

November 23, 2013 4:21 PM

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By: Euan Paulo C. Añonuevo, November 23, 2013 12:35 PM

MANILA - The National Grid Corp of the Philippines (NGCP) has fully reactivated power transmission lines damaged by Typhoon 'Yolanda' on Panay Island.

In a statement, NGCP said it energized the Dingle-Natividad 69 kiloVolt (kV) line on Panay Island as of 6:51 p.m. of November 22. This line delivers power to the Iloilo Electric Cooperative Inc III, which distributes electricity to portions of Iloilo, including the towns of Anilao, Banate, Barotac Viejo and Ajuy.

The grid operator also energized a vital line in Leyte yesterday. At about 8:00 p.m., lights were turned on for the first time at the Ormoc City Hall in Leyte two weeks after Yolanda badly hit the area.

This after NGCP energized its Ormoc-Simangan 69-kiloVolt (kV) line at 5:18 p.m. on November 22. The said line is connected to the substation of distribution utility Leyte Electric Cooperative V (LEYECO V), which distributes power to Ormoc.

"NGCP's transformer at its own Ormoc substation is also operational and ready to serve LEYECO V," the company said in a statement.

The private company operating the country's power transmission monopoly said 1,959 lines -- including backbone lines, steel poles and a converter station -- incurred damage at the height of Yolanda's onslaught. These facilities deliver power plants' output to distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.

To speed up the repairs, NGCP has been installing emergency restoration systems (ERS) to replace the transmission lines and rehabilitate other damaged facilities. ERS is a temporary transmission pole that can last up to 10 years. Permanent poles will be erected as soon as the power situation in the affected areas stabilizes.

To help NGCP in its power restoration work, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla called on technical personnel of electric cooperatives to assist the grid operator.

"If technical people of electric cooperatives are available and can help the people of NGCP or the other way around for NEA, they can do so,” he said, referring to the National Electrification Administration.

The government and NGCP aim to restore transmission lines in affected areas by December 24.

Power restoration would also hinge on the state of the distribution facilities of electric cooperatives. According to NEA, power facilities of 17 electric cooperatives (ECs) incurred damage during the typhoon's onslaught.

These ECs serve Northern Palawan, Bantayan and Camotes islands in Cebu, as well as the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Biliran, Bohol, Capiz, Iloilo, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Leyte.

As of November 21, five towns have been energized in the province of Aklan, 13 in Antique, seven in Bohol, one in Capiz, two in Leyte, 29 in Iloilo, two in Camotes Island, Cebu, and two in the franchise area of Busuanga Electric Cooperative in Palawan.

Also critical for bringing back power to the Visayas is the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station and the Ormoc-Cabacungan 350 kV HVDC line, which should be online by December 20. The HVDC interconnects the Luzon and the Visayas grids.

"The DOE emphasizes that generation, transmission, and distribution facilities must be all together operational for power situation in the affected areas to normalize," the department said in a statement.

"Likewise, the DOE continues to appeal to Luzon and Visayas power consumers to exercise energy efficiency and conservation to be able to provide ample supply of power in Visayas via the HVDC line," DOE said.


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