MinDA says Mindanao hydro power output falls as effects of El Niño set in

Oct. 30, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Mindanao is now feeling the effects of El Niño as it affects the operations of the Agus and Pulangi hydropower complexes (APHC), which supplies nearly half of the island’s power supply.

“This was among the scenarios the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) has discussed in a meeting last month to draw up measures to cushion the impact of ‎the weather phenomenon to the power sector,” said Dir. Romeo Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) public affairs head in a statement on Friday.

The MinDA-led monitoring body has earlier cited a report by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) that El Niño conditions are present from the fourth quarter of this year up to the first quarter of 2016.

Montenegro cited information gathered from the National Power Corporation (NPC) which showed that the water levels in Lanao Lake is now reaching critical levels at 699.86 meters above sea level (masl) as of October 30, 2015. This is nearing the lake’s minimum operating level of 699.15 masl.

“In the last 24 hours, data from Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – PAG-ASA’s Project NOAH showed that there was rainfall in the area but only lasted for less than an hour and with a maximum rainfall of one millimeter,” said Montenegro.

He said the weather phenomenon has resulted to the reduced capacity of the APHC.

“As of October 30, 2015, Pulangi IV is only producing 60 MW (megawatts) from 144 MW on October 26. On the other hand, the Agus hydropower plants are only producing 214 MW with Agus 1 and 2 producing no power due to a reported tripping of the 138 kV Agus-Kibawe Transmission Line, which connects Agus 1 and 2 to the main grid,” said Montenegro.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is still investigating the incident to determine cause of tripping which occurred on the evening of October 29.

The NGCP reported that as of October 30, 2015 there is a peak deficiency of 166 MW in the Mindanao grid affecting different areas in the island.

Montenegro said they are “closely coordinating and monitoring the situation together with the other members MPMC and determining the extent of the recent events to the operations of electric cooperatives and distribution utilities.”

“Despite the current situation, we are still confident that by 2016 Mindanao will have a better power situation with the entry of base load power plants, reducing our dependency to Agus and Pulangi hydro,” he  said. (davaotoday.com)

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