DOE MOVES TO AD­DRESS AURORA’S POWER WOES

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - BUSINESS - By Ron­nel W. Domingo @RonWDomin­goINQ

Fol­low­ing a Mala­canang-led sor­tie at the Philip­pine Rise, the Depart­ment of En­ergy is push­ing for ex­panded con­nec­tion of Aurora to the na­tional trans­mis­sion grid, to sup­port growth in the prov­ince’s north­ern towns.

En­ergy Sec­re­tary Al­fonso Cusi yes­ter­day said he had met with of­fi­cials of the Aurora Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (Aurelco) to dis­cuss the is­land- and mi­cro-grid so­lu­tions for Aurora’s power con­sumers.

Cusi said the meet­ing also cov­ered the planned sub­trans­mis­sion fa­cil­i­ties in Aurelco’s fran­chise area for the pos­si­ble con­nec­tion ex­pan­sion with Na­tional Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of the Philip­pines (NGCP) in San Luis town, ad­ja­cent to the capi­tol seat of

Baler.

The en­ergy chief said such plans looked at in­creas­ing the re­li­a­bil­ity of elec­tric­ity ser­vices in Aurelco’s fran­chise area as part of the util­ity’s “re­dun­dancy” mea­sures.

“Aurora is a thriv­ing prov­ince and we have to fur­ther equip it with ef­fec­tive en­ergy sys­tems to in­crease not just the sta­bil­ity of the power sup­ply, but also its ca­pa­bil­ity to be en­ergy re­silient, es­pe­cially that it’s vul­ner­a­ble to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters brought by ty­phoons,” Cusi said.

He said the co­op­er­a­tive was work­ing with the DOE’s Elec­tric Power In­dus­try Man­age­ment Bureau, the Na­tional Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NEA) and the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion to put up a 69-kilo­volt sub­trans­mis­sion fa­cil­ity that tra­verses the towns of Maria Aurora town and Casig­u­ran.

This also in­cludes a 5mega­volt am­pere sub­sta­tion, the in­stal­la­tion of which is part of Aurelco’s dis­tri­bu­tion de­vel­op­ment plan.

Cusi noted that, when com­pleted, th­ese projects would pro- vide “sta­ble and re­li­able ser­vices” to the towns of Di­nalun­gan, Casig­u­ran, Di­lasag in north­ern Aurora as well as Di­napigue in south­ern Is­abela.

Th­ese ar­eas, which are moun­tain­ous even if at the coast of Baler Bay, are prone to power ser­vice in­ter­rup­tion dur­ing typhoon sea­son.

Also, Cusi said the sub­trans­mis­sion projects were needed to fa­cil­i­tate Aurelco’s el­e­va­tion from a “mis­sion­ary sta­tus,” which meant it should be self-suf­fi­cient rather than re­ly­ing on sub­sidy.

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