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Bacolod City, PhilippinesMonday, April 15, 2013
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‘Interconnection of all grids
to solve power shortage’

MANILA -- The government sees the interconnection of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao grids will ensure power stability in the country.

The interconnection will allow reserve electricity generation capacity to be shared by these three regional grids.

Currently, only the Luzon and Visayas -- through the Leyte grid - have interconnectivity.

The Luzon grid, which has 200 MW excess that can be exported and the Visayas can also export another 200 MW to Mindanao if interconnected, which should have resolved power shortage in Mindanao.

Ernesto Pantangco, Philippine Independent Power Producers Association president, said the interconnection of the three grids would have allowed the rest of the country to support Mindanao's power shortage, which is expected to occur every summer because of its reliance on hydroelectric power plants.

Power shortage in some parts of Mindanao has been attributed to the declining generating capacity of hydropower plants caused by the reduced water level in Lake Lanao.

Based on the Philippine Development Energy Plan 2012-2030, the Mindanao grid will need an additional capacity of 2,188 MW by 2030 to sustain the region's power supply.

In a recent dialogue with the local leaders at the ORG Conference Room, ARMM Compound in Cotabato City, President Benigno Aquino III assured them that the government is looking for alternative sources of energy to effectively address the power shortage in Mindanao.

Aquino noted using diesel power plants would be the immediate remedy to the Mindanao power problem.

The problem with diesel power, it costs more, but this is only interim," he said.

Aquino said the government is also looking at tapping small power utilities group to augment power demand in Mindanao.

However, he stressed the need to first fine-tune the mechanism for the SPUG which should fall within the purview of the law.

The government provides a subsidy for Palawan and Mindoro areas where SPUG services are needed.

Another solution eyed to address power shortage in Mindanao is the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market.

Under this system, entities that own generators can be tapped to provide electricity to power cooperatives.*PNA


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