THREE years after Supertyphoon Yolanda brought unprecedented damage to major power facilities in the Visayas, power system operator the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said it has overhauled plans to strengthen transmission facilities to include designs ready to withstand typhoon winds ranging from 240 to 300 kilometers per hour (kph).
After restoration, relief operations, and rehabilitation efforts, the NGCP said it has learned a lesson from Yolanda to reinforce and protect the crucial transmission backbone of the entire power industry.
With technical assistance from local and foreign experts, the NGCP has incorporated new tower designs for its
Ormoc-Tongonan-Isabel and Panitan-Nabas projects in Leyte and Panay, respectively. Both projects are estimated to be completed by 2017.
“NGCP sees no other way to prepare for similar weather disturbances in the future than to reinforce our facilities and adapt better contingency plans. For these two projects, 196 towers–73 for Ormoc-Tongonan and 123 for Panitan-Nabas–have been designed to endure stronger typhoons,” the NGCP said on Thursday.
Apart from reinforced facilities, post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts include the construction and turnover of 21 typhoon-resilient 3-classroom buildings in various elementary schools in the heavily affected province of Leyte.
The buildings, compliant with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) standard for typhoon-resilient structures, were constructed with reinforced roofing, thicker walls, and movable dividers when in use as indoor school activities and evacuation centers during calamities.
“The damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda not only served as the catalyst to overhaul then-current facilities and contingency plans, but also a call to double the efforts to support our partner communities long after the typhoon has passed. Our partners can be assured that NGCP continues to look for opportunities not only to rebuild, but to rebuild the community and the nation stronger and better,” the NGCP said.
The NGCP is a private corporation that maintains and operates the country’s power transmission network. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets.