Uprated Batangas transmission line eases wheeling of capacity addition to Luzon grid

by Myrna Velasco, 19 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin

Many of the power capacity additions for the Luzon grid will be coming from Batangas, but wheeling their generated electricity will no longer be a problem following the energization of the uprated 230-kilovolt Lumban-Bay transmission line of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

In a statement to the media, NGCP acknowledged that “the line is crucial to the Batangas area where a total of 2,100 megawatts is being produced by power generating plants Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo and Calaca.”

On a forward-looking terrain, the uprated line will similarly underpin the transmission capacity of the new plants in Batangas that may shore up supply in the grid during the critical summer months.

These shall include the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation of which 135-MW capacity is already on commissioning phase; as well as the 97-MW Avion plant which is eyed on stream this June.

According to NGCP president Henry T. Sy Jr., “the Lumban-Bay line was energized through the Lumban substation at 1:10 a.m. on March 3… and by 3:00 a.m., we were able to loop the line to the Luzon grid.”

He expounded that with this upgrade, “we will be able to accommodate additional capacity from incoming power plants in the area.”

The company further explained that “the energization of the Lumban-Bay line is part of NGCP’s commitment to the Department of Energy (DOE) to expedite projects that will ensure maximized transmission capacity during the summer of 2015.”

The 100-kilometer line is being labeled as the ‘new corridor’ in the transmission of power from the generating facility-swamped south Luzon.

The project reportedly went through tough process of implementation given that NGCP had to deal with some 500 landowners for right-of-way acquisitions.

The line uprating required an investment of P600 million. This was integrated in NGCP’s regulatory filing under its 3rd regulatory reset under performance-based rate setting (PBR) scheme.

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