NGCP shifts campaign versus grassfire

by Myrna Velasco – May 13, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Taking a bit of break from its usual right-of-way (ROW) complaints, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is taking its information drive this time against grassfire incidents that may affect the reliability and efficient operation of its transmission facilities.

“NGCP is going all out in informing the public of the damages and adverse effects of grassfires on transmission facilities,” the company has noted.

In a media statement, NGCP explained that “not only is grassfire hazardous to the health of the people, it also poses a threat to power transmission facilities, particularly wood poles.”NG

The transmission firm added “if these structures are burnt, our transmission services might be interrupted.”

Grassfire incidents, according to the company, could be a prevalent threat especially with the anticipated peak of the El Nino phenomenon throughout the stretch of summer this year.

NGCP similarly reminded that as experienced in the past, “smoke from grassfires alone can cause tripping of transmission lines.”

It explicated that “the fire does not have to physically touch the line for it to trip. The thick smoke alone can trigger these lines to trip and cause power interruption.”

In a related development, NGCP hailed the quick response of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Cagayan, that in effect had averted a grassfire incident that could have adversely affected transmission facilities.

“Last April 3, a wood pole was burnt along one of NGCP’s transmission lines in the province. Fortunately, the incident did not result in a tripping,” the company said. Transmission lines underpinning the power system in Cagayan, Kalinga Apayao and some parts of Isabela were reported to have been vulnerable.

NGCP expounded “the integrity of these lines is threatened by grassfires which, per field reports, are usually formed by farmers especially during the summer season.”

The company thus reiterated its appeal to the public “to stop these unsafe practices near transmission lines so power interruptions are avoided.” (MMV)