by Lenie Lectura – March 8, 2016
from Business Mirror
THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved an application of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to upgrade the Panitan-Nabas 138-kiloVolt (kV) plant, after the facility suffered heavy damage due to Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.
“The application filed by the NGCP for the approval of the upgrading of the Panitan-Nabas 138-kV transmission line, with prayer for provisional authority, is hereby approved subject to optimization based on its actual use and/or implementation during the reset process for the next regulatory period,” the ERC said in its 14-page decision.
The line needs to be upgraded immediately in order to minimize exposure to fault, to achieve maximum transfer capacity and to retrieve the temporary structures used for the bypass lines to ensure sufficient availability of temporary structures for future emergency use.
The NGCP’s application, the ERC said, is “in accordance with the provisions of the Epira [Electric Power Industry Reform Act]” and “will redound to the benefit of its consumers in terms of continuous, reliable and efficient power supply.”
The upgrading project involves the construction of new steel-tower structures that will support the use of power conductors with higher capacity, hence, will increase the transfer capacity of Panitan-Nabas 138-kV line from 100 MW to 180 MW.
The NGCP will spend P933,774,191.90 for the proposed upgrading project.
Funding will be sourced through the grid operator’s internal cash-generated fund.
The wind velocities carried by tropical storm Yolanda were greater than the wind-velocity design used on the transmission lines, thus, constituting the main cause of tower toppling, the NGCP said.
The ERC has required the NGCP to pay a permit fee of P7 million, 15 days from receipt of the regulator’s decision.