DOE to verify NGCP report on Luzon power outage

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The Department of Energy will conduct a separate investigation to find out whether or not the report of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) toward the Luzon power outage, that occurred several weeks ago before the May 13 midterm election, is accurate.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla told reporters on Tuesday that the department will work on its own separate investigation to confirm the report of NGCP, specifying that bushfire and the nonactivation of the automatic protection system were the cause of the one-hour power outage in some areas in Luzon.

“I asked Transco [National Transmission Corp.] and the Power Bureau to conduct another investigation to verify NGCP’s report,” he said.

“We want to verify that through an investigation with. We’ll simply forward our report to ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission] for proper sanctions,” Petilla added.

He cited that based on NGCP’s initial report, a bushfire in Talisay, Batangas, was suspected to have triggered the shutdown of the Biñan-Calaca 230-kilovolt transmission line, which then affected the power line of the 600-megawatt Calaca coal-fired plant in Batangas.

“Based on report, they suspect that bushfire started it. But the auto protection system did not work. The problem was not in the switch but in the DC [direct current]power supply. It did not kick in,” Petilla said.

He has asked NGCP to look further on why the DC power supply, which would have served as a protection system, did not work as expected.

“We have to make sure that in their [NGCP] case there is no negligence, that they complied with the schedule vis-à-vis performance franchise of the grid code. We will probably adjust their auto protection system,” he said.

Petilla said that once the transmission lines trip or go into shutdown, it is the responsibility of NGCP and the department to look into the grid performance of the system operator.

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