TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The Batanes Electric Cooperative (Batanelco) is spending P141.6 million for the installation of underground power cables to protect its power transmission lines from strong winds and other weather disturbances.
Karen Nico of Batanelco’s institutional services department said the switch from overhead lines to underground cables also aims to protect their facilities and maintain a continuous power supply even during typhoons.
“Besides protecting our power lines from strong winds and other weather disturbances, we also aim to improve electrification in the mainland province and minimize power interruption,” Nico said.
She stressed that underground cables have longer lifespan as they are less exposed to elements compared with overhead power lines.
Nico said that based on a study, power cables in the island only last for three years instead of the supposedly 25-year life span.
“This is due to the overhead power lines’ exposure to elements of nature such as typhoons and other weather disturbances that frequently visit Batanes,” she explained.
Nico said excavation works for the underground cables have already started in the capital town of Basco, southern part of the island province, which recently sustained heavy damages on its power lines due to typhoons and its proximity to the sea coast.
“Completion may be delayed due to mode of transportation and would depend on the speed of the delivery of materials needed for the project,” she said.
Batanelco’s power plant mainly depends on fuel to generate electricity but officials said they are also working on solar and wind-generated power infrastructure in collaboration with the Philippine Power Source, Inc. (PPSI).
“This will surely address insufficient supply of diesel-powered electricity in Batanes island province through the establishment of renewable energy facilities,” Batanelco officials said.