THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has given the rehabilitation works for the Agus 2 switchyard in Mindanao the green light.
In deciding on the matter, the ERC found merit on the application of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for approval of the Agus 2 Switchyard Upgrading Project.
The NGCP, operator of the country’s power transmission network, has allotted more than P569 million for the rehabilitation of Agus 2. The power facility is now in a deteriorated condition.
The rehabilitation involves the renovation and expansion of the control building, replacement of obsolete secondary devices and telecommunications equipment.
The grid operator maintained that Agus 2 has been experiencing frequent breakdowns due to age and wear and tear and that even with regular maintenance the switchyard equipment require rehabilitation.
Out of 15 circuit breakers, 10 are in the advanced stages of deterioration.
The NGCP said the scarcity of spare parts is also a constraint in repairing the switchyard.
In justifying the project, the NGCP said associated equipment such as disconnect switches, current and capacitive voltage transformers, lightning arresters, and other outmoded and defective equipment are already up for replacement with the old high-voltage equipment frequently breaking down.
“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.
With a total capacity of 260 megawatts (MW), the Agus 1 and 2 hydro electric power plants are essential components of the Mindanao grid because they produce a large portion of the power supply in the region.
They also serve as contingency reserves for the Mindanao grid.