NGCP upgrading grid ahead of hike in power generation

THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is expecting the completion of its reinforcement of the Mindanao transmission backbone within the first quarter of 2019, months ahead of its target cessation on June 2019.

NGCP's Mindanao 230 kiloVolt (kV) Transmission Backbone Project will address the anticipated addition of bulk power generation in the area by strengthening the existing capacity of the Matanao-Toril-Bunawan and the Balo-i-Maramag-Bunawan transmission lines from 138 kV to 230 kV.

In a statement, NGCP said various key substations will also be upgraded in order to accommodate the line and the additional power expected to flow through.

NGCP in a statement said the transmission backbone will accommodate renewable and conventional power plants in the northern and southern part of Mindanao. This will ensure stable and continuous power from Lanao del Norte, passing through Agusan del Sur, all the way to Davao del Sur.

"With the completion of the project, large generating plants such as GNPower and SMC (San Miguel Corporation) will be able to connect to the grid, mitigating the once known vulnerabilities of hydropower and maximizing the generating capability of incoming plants. This means that we can maintain the quality and reliability of power which Mindanaoans will be able to enjoy. We are excited for the projects lined up for Mindanao as this will create a solid energy corridor in the island," NGCP said.

NGCP added that the project serves as an integral part of the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP) which will complete the link between the country’s power grids, allowing power between the major islands to be shared, and ensuring the reliability and stability of the grid.

“The Mindanao Backbone project is key to the VMIP because it provides the transmission highway to accommodate the capacity which the interconnection needs for it to be fully utilized by both Visayas and Mindanao,” said NGCP.

The support given by the local government of Davao del Sur, NGCP said, was instrumental in shortening the project timeline.

Through fast-tracking the implementation of its grid enhancement and expansion projects, NGCP can provide better, continuous power transmission services to the public.

"We are appealing for the same support from other LGUs (local government units), as well as the public, as we all have a common goal of efficiently providing the power needs of the country,” NGCP added.

On July 20, 2016, the Energy Regulatory Commission approved the implementation of Mindanao 230kV Transmission Backbone Project.