The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is upbeat about completing the Visayas-Mindanao interconnection project before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term in 2022.
NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza told reporters last week the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had approved the project in principle, which was “good news for us and we can proceed full-speed ahead to make that December 2020 deadline.”
Alabanza noted that right-of-way was the biggest issue that must be addressed for the VisMin interconnection project.
“As long as the right-of-way is ready and we encounter no significant delays on the overhead portions, we will do everything we can to make that 2020 deadline,” she said.
Once passed in Congress, the Anti-Power Line Disturbance Act would go a long way in helping NGCP and the distribution utilities with right-of-way problems, she noted.
Last Thursday, the House energy committee approved a subsitute bill seeking to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted flow of electricity from transmission and distribution lines to consumers.
Committee chair and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco sponsored Committee Report No. 364 on House Substitute Bill No. 6276. Essentially, the measure intends to keep the right-of-way corridors of electric power lines free and clear of any dangerous obstruction including high-growing plants and establishments.
On September 6, the ERC granted a provisional authority for the VisMin undertaking, which would connect the Visayas and Mindanao grids via Cebu and Zamboanga.
It is expected to be completed in 46 months.
In a statement, the regulator said it approved the project on the premise that it “would be subject to optimization based on its actual use and/or implementation during the reset process for the next regulatory period.”
ERC Officer-in-Charge Alfredo Non said the initiative helps to address the problem of insufficient power supplies.