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DOE bares solutions to Visayas blackouts

Patrick Miguel - The Philippine Star
DOE bares solutions to Visayas blackouts
The DOE said the shutdown of three power units of the Panay Energy Development Corp. and the maintenance shutdown being implemented by a major coal power plant, Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC), on its 135- megawatt power unit caused the blackouts.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — As another power outage hit the neghboring islands of Negros and Panay on Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) has bared short- and long-term solutions to the power problem besetting Western Visayas.

The DOE said the shutdown of three power units of the Panay Energy Development Corp. and the maintenance shutdown being implemented by a major coal power plant, Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC), on its 135- megawatt power unit caused the blackouts.

An advisory released by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the maintenance shutdown of the PCPC would run until March 30.

The Panay system operator is using the 10-percent head room “contingency reserve” imposed on major coal-powered plants as part of its short-term plan, the DOE said. 

The long-term plan involves energizing several renewable and conventional power plants as well as completing transmission projects to support power generation and load centers. 

“(The) Department of Energy reiterates the need for cooperation among the power generators, distribution utility and the system operator in Panay,” the agency said in a statement. 

The DOE urged consumers to conserve energy while completion of the transmission upgrade is ongoing as well as the maintenance of PCPC power units by the end of the month. 

“By the end of March, the Panay grid will be strengthened by the completion of the Cebu-Negros-Panay transmission upgrade, and the PCPC regular maintenance shutdown will be finished,” the DOE said. 

The NGCP announced the blackouts on Friday and gave assurance that an investigation was ongoing.

It said power was restored shortly after midnight.

The Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. said power was fully restored at 2 p.m. yesterday.

The NGCP said that 167.9 megawatts are being served by Panay power plants, which is augmented by 102.4 megawatts from sources elsewhere in the Visayas. 

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