In anticipation of higher electricity demand during the summer season, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has advised the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO) to take necessary measures to reduce the possibility of power interruptions.
This after the National Power Corporation (NPC) has decided to defer the deployment of Power Barge (PB) 106 to Catanduanes, which will supposedly augment and stabilize the power situation in the province.
NPC cited as a reason that the Sunwest Water and Electric Company (SUWECO) has fast-tracked the deployment and installation of 6MW mobile diesel generator sets as part of its obligation to the 2nd Amendment of Energy Supply Agreement (ESA) with FICELCO, and its target of completion is in April.
As such, according to NPC, the total dependable capacity of power supply will increase up to 15.5MW as against the present power demand of 12.5MW and with a reserve capacity of 1.58MW during summer season.
Therefore, the NPC has decided to defer the deployment of power barge to Catanduanes as it would cost the agency an approximately P10 million for the construction of mooring facilities in the province.
However, FICELCO, in a letter to Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Catanduanes, sought the assistance of the latter in requesting NPC to push through with the deployment of the power barge, citing the low dependable capacity of all its hydro power plants (Balongbong, Hitoma, and Solong) during dry season.
Engr. Reynaldo Cuevas, Jr., Acting Department Manager of the NEA Management and Consultancy Service Office (MCSO), said while no significant interruptions were reported so far, FICELCO should still "adopt strategies and measures to avert occurrence of interruptions."
Based on FICELCO’s data, NEA has come up with two possible scenarios on the power situation of Catanduanes next month, considering the different operating scenarios of the installed power plants and loading based on monthly demand specifically during dry season.
In first scenario, projection in power-supply demand outlook shows there will be a thin reserve for April and sufficient power supply for the rest of the year, provided that the six units of 1.545MW (Dependable Capacity at 1.1MW) are fully operational by May 2019.
Under scenario two, there will be a deficit in capacity for the month of April given that six units of 1.545MW capacity are delivered and operational by May 2019 and the 1×3.6MW Marinawa Diesel Power Plant with dependable capacity of 2.2MW is deactivated for rehabilitation and maintenance and the 1.5MW NPC biggest genset is also deactivated in case of engine breakdown.
Last Friday, March 22, 2019, FICELCO reported that the two (2) units of 1.545MW previously delivered by SUWECO in the third quarter of 2018 as part of the 6.6MW contracted capacity under the 2nd Amendment of ESA were initially put in operation and dispatch at a capacity of 1MW to avert the possible occurrence of interruptions.