TO prevent power interruptions and potential dangers to life and property, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) appealed to the public to respect the right-of-way (ROW) clearance of its transmission lines and facilities.
Lilibeth Gaydowen, NGCP regional communications and public affairs officer, said the company issued the reminder after several incidents involving ROW clearance of its towers in Pampanga and Pangasinan last month.
“Our right-of-way clearances are in place not only to guard our lines from damage. The clearances are there primarily to protect the integrity of the grid, and to prevent houses, industries and communities from experiencing power interruptions,” she said.
Gaydowen said that on January 7, a dump truck hit a transmission pole along Quezon Road, San Simon, Pampanga causing power interruption that severely affected industries directly connected to it.
She said that on January 26, NGCP’s Mexico-Calumpit 69kV line tripped when a billboard was constructed right beside the line in Santo Domingo, Minalin, Pampanga which also caused power interruption and flashover almost setting fire to nearby structures.
On January 27, another truck hit NGCP’s Labrador-Bolinao 69 kilo-volt (kV) line, cutting power in the area serviced by the Pangasinan I Electric Cooperative.
Gaydowen added that clearances are established to prevent injuries and even death.
“When objects such as billboards breach these distances, they don’t need to physically touch the line for electricity to jump and flow through the object in breach. In the best case scenario, there is a localized power interruption and damage to property. In the worst cases, somebody could be killed,” she said.
Gaydowen said the NGCP-prescribed ROW clearances for its transmission lines is a 15-meter circumference around the center of a 69 kiloVolt (kV) tower, 30 meters for 115kV towers, 30 meters for 138kV towers, 40 meters for 230kV towers, 50 meters for 350kV towers, and 60 meters for 500kV towers.
“The company also warns against putting up any structure or doing any construction work near transmission lines which causes unnecessary power interruptions,” Gaydowen said.
Informal settlers living underneath or dangerously close to transmission towers were also warned of potential risks of violating the ROW clearances of NGCP’s facilities.
“Incidents like electrocutions, or the fire in Alabang which toppled Tower 34 of the Biñan-Muntinlupa 230kV line last year may very well happen again if these clearances are not observed,” NGCP said.
NGCP said power interruptions are caused by dangerous improvements, high-growing vegetation, and malicious elements that may breach the ROW clearances of transmission lines and facilities which should be reported.
with JORDEENE B. LAGARE