4-hour daily brownout hits Butuan

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/08 March)—Insufficient power supply in the Mindanao grid and not power transmission problem triggered the four-hour daily brownout in this city, an official of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

Lawyer Cynthia Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson, issued the pronouncement after residents started demanding an explanation from the Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. about the city-wide brownout that started late February.

The distribution utility blamed NGCP for the problem.

But Alabanza stressed that the demand has outgrown the supply generated by the power plants in the island.

The NGCP website showed Friday a supply shortfall of 283 MW in the Mindanao grid. Peak demand was pegged at 1,138 MW while the actual capacity was only 855 MW.

Alabanza pointed out that the NGCP should not be blamed for the power shortage as they only transmit the power produced by the plants.

“We are not at fault here. A long-term solution is needed to help ease the growing demand. A new power plant [is needed] in providing additional electricity and ease the power problem Mindanao is facing,” she said.

To help ease the peak-hour demand, the NGCP spokesperson suggested for people to shift their household activities during non-peak hours.

An example would be ironing clothes at dawn since businesses, industries and offices are not yet consuming much electricity at this time, she added.

By 2015 or 2016, NGCP anticipates a “better power situation in Mindanao with the additional 550 MW from new power plants.” (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)