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NO BROWNOUTS, INTERRUPTIONS EXPECTED

Enough power supply for 2022 elections—DOE

/ 05:40 AM August 28, 2021

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Friday reiterated that there would be enough electricity supply across the country during the national elections in 2022 even as energy officials rushed to Oriental Mindoro to address a power shortage in the island.

Cusi was in Calapan City for a meeting with officials of electric cooperatives in the island as well as representatives of the National Power Corp. (Napocor), National Electrification Administration, and National Transmission Corp.

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Napocor has been tasked to solve within a month the supply gap that affects the franchise areas particularly of Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Ormeco) but also of Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative.

Between sessions, Cusi said at an online briefing with Manila-based media that power generation capacity available to Ormeco was far less than the peak demand of 66 megawatts.

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“Ormeco has contracts for a total of 69 MW, but the actual capacity is 53.5 MW,” Cusi said.

“If you consider a 20-percent allowance [or buffer] over the peak demand, they should have 78 MW [of dependable capacity],” the energy chief said.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), Cusi went to Calapan to “personally resolve the rotating brownouts plaguing” consumers in his home turf.

Despite contracts with nine power generation firms, Ormeco has acknowledged its struggle to address rotational service interruptions as early as May 2020.

Back then, Ormeco explained by letter to the DOE that it was not receiving enough supply due to the expiration of contracts with Mindoro Grid Corp. and the retiring generators of Global Business Holdings Inc.

Ormeco also noted that the two generators of Power One Corp. (POC) were unavailable. POC has a contract to supply 9 MW until 2032, and the company resorted to a 6-MW modular generator to compensate.

Further, mini-hydropower plants and wind power plants—which have a total contracted capacity of 13.1 MW and 6 MW, respectively—were producing a combined 8.6 MW only.

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Over the past 15 months, Ormeco took steps to top up supply from alternative sources, including an emergency power procurement of 10 MW.

POC also installed 6-MW modular operating units in Bansud as replacement for its undelivered power. These have been operational since April.

Also in May 2020, Ormeco said they expected to complete within that year the process of conducting a competitive selection process for the contracts to provide 30 MW of supply—the generators for which should be available by 2021.

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TAGS: Cusi, Elections 2022, Energy department, Power supply
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