North Cot experiences 30-minute power interruption

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/.06 January) — North Cotabato will be experiencing power outages  with the daily deduction of at least 10 megawatts or 30 per cent from the total power load of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) due to insufficient supply from the Mindanao grid.

The co-op distributes power to North Cotabato’s  17 towns and lone city.

Since last week, each sub-station of Cotelco has been experiencing a 30-minute power interruption. The co-op has five sub-stations with a total capacity of 45 MVA.

Engineer Godofredo Homez, general manager of Cotelco, hinted the load curtailment is sign that Mindanao is experiencing ‘power crisis.’

“I think there’s already a crisis or we’re heading to that.   The demand for power is high, yet, we’re running out of supply.   There are no additional power plants being put up in the region,” said Homez.

The years 2012 and 2013, he stressed, would be  “very critical time” for the power industry.       This “trying period,” he said, would include worsening blackouts and additional power costs, which will affect surely the power consumers.

The situation would be aggravated when El Nino hits the region by March or April, he explained.

Citing as basis the power situation outlook of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Homez said the Mindanao grid has no more reserve power. The Mindanao grid’s system has an available capacity at 1,217 megawatts but peak demand is at 1,248 megawatts.

“Unless additional power plants would be constructed in Mindanao, we will continue to experience power shortfall and we will all suffer, the region’s economy, in particular,” he said.

At least 550 megawatts are expected to be generated in the next three years as new power plants are expected to be built within that period, including the 300MW Therma South Energy Project in Barangay Binugao, Toril district in Davao City; 100MW plant in Sarangani province; and another 100MW plant in Zamboanga and the 50MW geothermal power plant of the Energy Development Corporation in North Cotabato, which will be operational in 2014..

Homez said he is hopeful these energy solutions will help mitigate power supply shortfall in Mindanao.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)