No power shortage looms in northern Luzon – NGCP

Charlie Lagasca - The Philippine Star

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya , Philippines– Unlike in other parts of the country, there is no looming power shortage in northern Luzon, especially this summer, according to an official of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

Engineer Alexander Alvarez, NGCP-Cagayan Valley head of maintenance and operation services, said as far as they are concerned there will be no power shortfall in the Luzon grid like the one being experienced in Mindanao. 

The NGCP gave assurance that the power reserve for northern Luzon is enough to meet the demands of consumers, especially this summer when electricity consumption is expected to increase.

“We are more than efficient than before. We will have no problem because we have a lot of power capacity,” Alvarez said.

He said they are about to complete their regular inspection and repair of their facilities to ensure stable power supply.

Alvarez, however, still hinted a possibility of power interruptions due to technical faults in power-generating plants, although he said this is remote.

“But definitely there will be no power shortage in Luzon,” he added.

Besides coal-fired power plants, Luzon hosts a number of hydro-powered dams, which generate the needed electricity for the Luzon grid, among them the San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, Magat Dam along the Ifugao-Isabela border, Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija, and the Ambuklao and Binga dams in Benguet.   

Magat Dam, once Asia’s first biggest dam, generates at least 380 megawatts (MW) of power, making it the second power-producing hydro-dam in the Luzon grid after the San Roque Dam.

In a related development, Tubao town in La Union will start constructing a P230-million hydro-power plant this April to augment its supply of electricity and to offer cheaper rates. The project is expected to be completed in eight months.

Vice Mayor Dante Garcia told The STAR that the project will generate 1.5 MW of electricity which will be purchased by the La Union Electric Cooperative (Luelco) and will be sold cheaper by one peso whatever would be the prevailing power rates.

“Clearing of the road going to the project’s site is now ongoing and the feasibility study was already done a few months ago. There is already a power purchase agreement between Luelco and Tubao Hydro Power Corp.,” Garcia said.

Garcia said the feasibility study was done by Auburn Consultancy while funding will come from Robinsons Bank through a loan agreement with the Tubao municipal government.

The project will be built along the Tubao-Aringay River, whose waters come from the mountain ranges of Benguet. – With Jun Elias












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