THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) once again reminded the public on Monday, particularly illegal settlers in urban areas, to respect transmission line safety clearances.
With its ongoing campaign against constructing houses and living underneath high-voltage transmission lines and towers, the NGCP warning comes after a fire broke out at a highly populated area 300 meters away from NGCP’s Quezon Substation at Baesa, Quezon City late last month.
The fire emanated from an upholstery shop located under the Quezon-San Jose 230kV backbone line, between towers 58 and 59, and adjacent the Quezon-San Rafael 230kV backbone line, between towers 508 and 509.
The close proximity of the fire to the two transmission lines puts NGCP’s operations at risk as the heavy smoke from the fire could have tripped the transmission lines serving Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces. Both lines carry a combined capacity of 1,264 MW, with the Quezon-San Jose 230kV lines 1 and 2 having a 618- MW load each, and the Quezon-San Rafael 230kV with a 28-MW load.
“We are grateful that the Bureau of Fire Protection responded immediately to put out the fire. Heavy smoke underneath high voltage transmission lines can cause interruption of transmission services. Since these lines are critical to delivering power to Metro Manila, we could have suffered a metro-wide power interruption had the fire not been abated quickly,” the NGCP said. The fire was declared under control two and a half hours after it broke out.
The NGCP also took the opportunity to reiterate the effect of right-of-way (ROW) violations, specifically squatting underneath transmission facilities, on the safety and security of the host communities and the smooth delivery of electricity.
“Living underneath our lines is not only unsafe, it poses a real threat to the security and reliability of the grid. Breaching our ROW clearances can cause line tripping and possible grid collapse. These homes and structures should never have been built so close to or directly underneath our lines, given the inherent danger of the area, and the critical nature of these facilities in the delivery of power to the different parts of the country,” the NGCP said.