Senator not keen on Visayas power spot market


BACOLOD CITY: Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said he was not in favor of proposals to have a separate power spot market for the Visayas, saying that splitting the market will limit the people’s choice.

Gatchalian, guest speaker in the ongoing conference of the Philippine Councilor’s League here, added that “one advantage of having a unified spot market is flexibility.”

“You can sell excess power from Negros to Luzon or to Mindanao. The one grid system right now is flexible for us. The Philippines is a small market with 12,000 megawatt (MW) capacity. Splitting up the market will limit our choices,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy said.

Pressed regarding the oversupply of renewable energy in Negros island, Gatchalian said “the problem here is transmission.”

“The excess capacity produced here can’t be sold to Cebu or even Luzon or Mindanao. One thing we are pushing is for the National Grid Corp. to upgrade the lines. The lines are small at 69 kilovolts (KV) which should be upgraded to 250KV already,” he pointed out.

He added that he would call for a hearing and invite stakeholders from Negros.

“It is a waste because Negros could be a center for renewable energy and a lot of potential for solar and biomass power,” he said.

Meanwhile, he expects that the upgrading of transmission lines would materialize in the next six months.
“It has been a problem for a long time and there is a need to take action,” he said.


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