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Business

CBK hydro plant seen to ease power crisis

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The risks of the Luzon grid experiencing rotating blackouts this summer have been reduced as the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydropower plants and pumped storage in Laguna is now ready to pump in 720 megawatts to the grid, a lawmaker said yesterday.

On the sidelines of a natural gas summit, Sen. Serge Osmena, chairman of the Committee on Energy, said the CBK plants are now able to run by an additional 400 MW, reaching full capacity of 720 MW following the energization of the Lumban line.

 “The NGCP has energized the Lumban line so we will now have 720 MW (from CBK),” he said.

He said with 400 MW added to the capacity of CBK, which was running at roughly 300 MW prior to the energization of the line, the chances of the Luzon grid experiencing a blackout have been diminished.

“With that, we really lessen the chances of brownouts,” Osmena said.

At the same time, he said it’s impossible to categorically say that there wouldn’t be blackouts this summer.

“What we’re scared of is sudden breakdowns of (power plants),” the lawmaker said.

Still, he expressed optimism the power supply shortage in summer would be manageable with power from both the CBK and the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

 “We may not have any blackouts but if we do, it’s in the peripheral areas and not the industrial or commercial areas,” he said.

Under the program, big power users will use their own power to ease demand from the grid.

The electricity that would not be taken from the grid would then be used for households and other offices, sparing them from rotating blackouts.

The program would run on orange alert or when the net operating reserves of the Luzon grid have fallen below 350 MW. 

There is a projected power shortage of 700 MW this summer.

Osmena, the principal author of the Senate resolution granting President Aquino special powers to address this summer’s shortage, said a bicameral conference committee meeting is again scheduled on Monday to reconcile both versions of the resolution.

The House of Representatives passed its version last year.

Osmena said that the increase in the rates this summer is estimated at four centavos per kilowatt-hour if the ILP would be utilized.

CALIRAYA-BOTOCAN-KALAYAAN

GRID

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

INTERRUPTIBLE LOAD PROGRAM

LUMBAN

LUZON

OSMENA

POWER

PRESIDENT AQUINO

SERGE OSMENA

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