NGCP urged to improve facilities, avoid power outages in Panay

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas urged the NGCP to boost its facilities to avoid power outages from happening again in Western Visayas. (John Noel E. Herrera photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera 

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, who chairs the Regional Development Council’s (RDC) infrastructure committee, prodded the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to hasten the improvement of its facilities to avoid power blackouts from happening in Western Visayas again.

During the RDC meeting on Thursday, May 11, 2023, Treñas said the series of power outages on April 27 to 29 indicated that there are problems with the transmission lines and system of NGCP.

The mayor stressed that NGCP’s system cannot isolate faults in a particular area to avoid a total collapse of the power grid.

“It clearly shows nga may problema sila sa transmission. Ang siling nila nagsugod ang fault sa CENECO (Central Negros Electric Cooperative), dayon nagkadto sa aton. It only shows nga waay sang facility to make sure nga kung may fault sa isa ka lugar, dira na gid lang mapabilin ang ina nga fault,” Treñas said.

“NGCP’s protection system should be immediately addressed and I would like to get the assurance of NGCP that there should be no more cascading faults that will lead to total blackouts, especially in Panay and portions of Negros,” he added.

Treñas stressed that the power issue would affect the economy in the region if not addressed immediately, citing the high level and fast developments in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.

“We need you to act fast and to commit to do your best, otherwise, all our efforts to bring economic development and employment to our people will go to waste simply because of the very poor and inadequate transmission services of NGCP,” the mayor said.

Engr. Christian B Ereño, NGCP-Visayas head, said some of the actions taken during the power outages were:

-allocating headroom to conventional generators to increase reactive power support;

-limiting the output of VRE (variable renewable energy) during the restoration to lessen intermittency and variability;

-implementing demand control during under voltage; and

-faster clearing time to minimize the duration of the disturbance.

NGCP assured the RDC members that they will improve their transmission and distribution line service reliability and ensure proper coordination with other protection and control systems, and the fine-tuning of power system stabilizers.

The firm added that they will also improve their generation planning towards sufficient and stable generation per island to avoid heavy loading of transmission lines.

The RDC, on the other hand, will pass a resolution urging the NGCP to fast-track the improvements of their facilities, and to work with the Department of Energy (DOE) in addressing the power issue in the region.

Meanwhile, a report from different distribution utilities (DUs) in the region showed that their consolidated revenue loss during the prolonged power interruption on April 27 to 29 is around P7.47 million.

However, there is still no available data yet as to the monetary value of the possible effects or damages caused by the three-day power outage on the economy of the region.