NGCP warns vs kite-flying near transmission facilities

Published July 14, 2020, 4:43 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is warning the public of the hazards that could be instigated on activities being done near the transmission facilities.

It stipulated that human activities as simple as flying kites could cause unwanted brownouts and may also endanger lives, since this type of diversion could trigger electrocution.

As the country’s energy sector embraces “new normal” in their operations and in rendering service to the consumers, NGCP indicated that one of its key reminders is for the people “to steer clear of activities near transmission facilities.”

In particular, the company reported 87 incidents of kite flying this year that technically handicapped the operations of some of its transmission facilities, including an eight-hour emergency shutdown carried out at its 230-kilovolt Las Pinas-Dasmarinas line last April 25.

“While no customers were affected, the reliability of the grid was compromised at that time,” the company stressed.

It emphasized “these rising incidents of kite entanglements come at a period where electricity is crucial in the ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19.”

NGCP further noted “breaching safety clearances not only threatens power transmission delivery for the entire grid, but also endangers the lives of kite flyers.”

The company explained that transmission lines carry extreme high voltages – in the range of 69,000 to 500,000 volts, hence, electric shocks from these facilities could really wallop at extreme proportion. For that, it reminded the public that “lines need not be physically touched,” because they can cause accidents.

Thus, to guarantee uninterrupted power delivery services to consumers, NGCP is appealing “for the prohibition of kite flying, kaingin or grass-burning activities, and malicious planting of vegetation below or within the transmission right-of-way corridor.”

In parallel to such cautionary public nudging, NGCP is similarly seeking the public’s support on the government’s bid for efficient use of energy resources, to prevent demand-induced power supply shortfalls.

And while electricity demand plummeted to unprecedented levels during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period in March and April, power consumption is now at its recovery pace following the economic re-opening phases being instituted by the State.