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Mindanao power rates go up as utilities seek alternative sources of electricity

DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines – Mindanao power consumers have started paying more as cooperatives and other power utilities seek alternative sources, including the expensive fuel-fired generators, to provide steady supply and prevent massive outages similar to 2014’s 10-hour daily blackouts.

In the case of the Davao del Sur Electric Coop. here, Godofredo Guya, the general manager, said the shortage of power supply due to varied reasons, has forced them to use their modular generator sets.

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Due to the use of modular gen-sets, Dasureco’s 68,000 consumers will now have to pay about a peso more for their February consumption, according to Guya.

From an average of P8.20 per kilowatt-hour (kwh), Dasureco’s consumers will now have to pay P9.22 per kwh to cover costs of modular gen-sets and getting power supply from other fuel-based generators.

“Actually, what they are paying is the additional cost to generation and transmission charges and government tax. Meaning, if they paid P1 to Dasureco, 80 centavos of that will go to the said charges,” Guya said.

He said Mindanao’s hydro power plants could not supply enough power to the Mindanao Grid because of low water level and repairs.

“Other electric cooperatives in Mindanao have already implemented rotational brown-outs,” Guya said.

Guya said the Mindanao power situation worsened when Steag State Power Inc. shut down one of its coal-fired plants due to maintenance. Dr. Carston Evers, the SPI plant manager said the company’s power plant has been shut down on Feb. 19 and would remain shut until March 2. Its power plant 2 will be shut down from Feb. 21 to March 16.

The two plants provide 220 megawatts of power to the Mindanao grid.

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TAGS: brownouts, Davao del Sur Electric Coop., Electricity production and distribution, electricity rate hike, electricity supply, Godofredo Guya, Mindanao, news, power rate hike, power supply shortage, preventive maintenance, Regions, Steag State Power Inc.
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