ERC green lights NGCP transmission project

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has given the  green light to the transmission project of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in Northern Luzon to improve the overall power grid system.

NGCP can now proceed with the construction of its La Trinidad-Calot 69-kilovott (kV) line project, which has an estimated cost of P644 million.

The transmission line project aims to provide a single outage contingency as required in the Philippine Grid Code (PGC) and improve the reliability and transfer capacity of the transmission line.    

ERC chairperson and CEO Agnes Devanadera said the approved project involves the construction of a transmission line using new right-of-way and de-commissioning of some portions of the old circuit line.

 “The NGCP’s new La Trinidad – Calot 69 kV transmission line will address the expected transmission overloading and will serve as a back-up in times of contingency or a failure in the transmission system,” she said.

The regulatory approval of the La Trinidad-Calot 69-kV line project is subject to optimization based on its actual use and/or implementation during the reset process for the next regulatory period, as stated in the Rules for Setting the Transmission Wheeling Rates (RTWR) and other relevant issuances of the ERC.  

Optimization involves the removal of redundant assets and over-capacity, including inefficient design and “gold-plated” engineering within the existing network. 

NGCP is also required to conduct competitive bidding for the purchase of major materials in the implementation of the proposed projects.

Meanwhile, the remaining old or existing line that will be dedicated to Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc.’s (Beneco) Sanitary Camp and Irisan should be reclassified as subtransmission asset and be divested to Beneco.

 “ERC approved this application of the NGCP for its La Trinidad – Calot 69 kV transmission line based on our evaluation that the benefits of the project outweigh its cost.  Electricity consumers will be benefited with this NGCP project in terms of having sustainable electricity and continued economic growth, not only in Benguet, but also in the entire Luzon region,” Devanadera said.

The NGCP, under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), is required to seek the ERC’s prior approval of any plan for expansion or improvement of its facilities in the pursuit of its mandate to construct, install, finance, improve, expand, rehabilitate, and repair the country’s transmission system and the grid.

Earlier, the ERC approved NGCP’s Cebu–Lapu-Lapu Transmission Project (CLTP), which has an estimated project cost of P1.88 billion.

The CLTP is part of the planned 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission backbone in the Visayas and will serve as an outage contingency to the existing Cebu–Mandaue–Lapu-Lapu Transmission corridor. 

NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy, Jr. and Robert Coyiuto, Jr.

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