THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), operator of the country’s power transmission network, plans to spend more than P569 million for the rehabilitation of the Agus 2 switchyard in Mindanao.
The NGCP has asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for provisional authority to rehabilitate the switchyard which is now in a deteriorating state.
In a petition, NGCP said that Agus 2 has been showing frequent breakdowns due to age and wear and tear and that even with regular maintenance, the switchyard’s equipment now require rehabilitation.
The NGCP reported that out of 15 power circuit breakers, 10 have manifested rapid deteriorating conditions. In addition, it said the scarcity of spare parts is also a
constraint in repairing the switchyard.
It said associated equipment such as disconnect switches, current and capacitive voltage transformers, lightning arresters, and other outmoded and defective equipment are already due for replacement and old high-voltage equipment have also showed frequent breakdowns.
“In order for the NGCP to ensure reliability of the switchyard, the ERC should allow its upgrading and rehabilitation,” the NGCP said in its petition.
To address system vulnerability, NGCP proposes the immediate upgrading and rehabilitation of the switchyard.
“The energization of Agus 2 is estimated to be in 2015 for Phase 1 and 2017 for Phase 2,” the grid operator said.
The rehabilitation work involves the renovation and expansion of the control building, replacement of obsolete secondary devices and replacement of telecom equipment.
The Agus 1 and 2 hydro electric power plants (HEPPs) are essential components of the Mindanao grid because they produce a large portion of the power supply in the region with a total capacity of 260 megawatts (MW). They also function as a contingency reserve to the Mindanao grid.
The NGCP said that based on simulation conducted, occurrence of fault causes by defective circuit breakers would trigger Automatic Load Dropping (ALD) relays and will lead to load shedding to maintain the stability of the system.
Since 2009, privately owned NGCP has been operating, maintaining and developing the country’s transmission network.