By Myrna M. Velasco
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has secured regulatory approval on its 69-kilovolt La Trinidad-Calot line project to fortify wheeling of power capacity, primarily in northern loop of Luzon.
The transmission facility was earmarked total capital expenditure (capex) of P644 million, based on the information reference of the project application of NGCP.
As emphasized by the ERC, the project has been intended “to provide a single outage contingency” which is a requirement under the Philippine Grid Code, and for it to also shore up “reliability and transfer capacity of the transmission line.”
The new line, it was further noted, “will address the expected transmission overloading and will serve as a back-up in times of contingency or a failure in the transmission system.”
As culled from the project blueprint, the facility’s installation was concretized through new right-of-way (ROW) access and the decommissioning of some portions of the old circuit line.
ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera explained that the project was approved because “the benefits of the project outweigh its cost.”
She stressed that “electricity consumers will be benefited with this NGCP project in terms of having sustainable electricity and continued economic growth – not only in the province of Benguet, but in the entire Luzon region.”
From the recent regulatory nod extended by the Commission, it was emphasized that such shall eventually be subject to “optimization” based on the actual use of the facility and its implementation – and that will happen when the reset process on tariff regulation of NGCP will finally be updated.
In this case, optimization would refer to “the removal of redundant assets and over-capacity”, including inefficient design and ‘gold-plated’ engineering within the existing network.
As prescribed under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), NGCP as a regulated entity will need to seek ERC’s prior approval of any plan for expansion or improvement of its facilities.
In the process of project implementations, NGCP is required to conduct competitive bidding for the purchase of major materials in the implementation of the proposed projects.