CUSTOMERS within the franchise area of Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Daneco) are facing an average of less than two hours in rotating power outages daily following a load curtailment advisory from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
“We cannot avoid [these] rotating brownouts as the NGCP asked us to curtail power daily at an average of 10 to 20 megawatts [MW],” Daneco Technical Department Manager Nielo Japay said. Rotating brownouts usually happen during weekdays.
Daneco’s rotating brownouts may end only when Therma South will be made operational by March next year, he said. Daneco will be procuring an additional 15 MW from Therma South Inc.’s (TSI) 260-MW coal-fired plant. TSI is a unit of listed Aboitiz Power Corp.
NGCP is in charge of maintaining the Mindanao grid, which is supplied by the Agus and Pulangi hydropower systems.
Other power sources in Mindanao are contributed by independent power suppliers and private power firms tapping diesel, hydroelectric, geothermal, coal, bunker fuel or a combination of sources.
Daneco’s current power demand hits an average 72 MW, of which an average of 25 MW is consumed within the Compostela Valley (ComVal) distribution area while an average of 47 MW is consumed in the Tagum distribution area.
Daneco’s Comval area is composed of the six valley towns—Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, Compostela and New Bataan—and the highland town of Maragusan.
Tagum, on the other hand, is composed of Tagum City; ComVal’s coastal towns of Maco, Mabini and Pantukan; the upland town of Laak, and Davao del Norte’s towns of Kapalong, Asuncion, New Corella, Talaingod and the Island of Samal. Other areas in Davao del Norte, such as Panabo City, and the towns of Santo Tomas,BE Dujali and Carmen, are serviced by Davao Light and Power Corp., another AboitizPower-owned company.
Japay said depending on the power demand situation in Mindanao, the NGCP’s curtailment advisory varies in terms of power to be reduced for distribution to households and commercial users, which explains the irregular rotating brownouts within the franchise area.
“We would have to follow NCGP, otherwise [it] will [implement] manual load dropping. When that happens, there is usually a delay in resuming power supply to Daneco from the Mindanao grid,” he added.
(By Cha Monforte)