By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is currently expediting the processing and issuance of the Certificates of Compliance and Provisional Authorities to Operate (CCPAO) in order for the biomass powerplants in Negros Occidental to start supplying additional power for the whole island and in neighboring Panay.
ERC chairperson Agnes Devanadera revealed the information during a virtual hearing with the House Committee on Energy on Tuesday, October 12, which is connected to the House Resolution 2206 filed by Negros Occidental 3rd District Congressman Francisco “Kiko” Benitez, which pushes for an inquiry on the recent power rate hikes in Western Visayas.
The ERC chair’s presentation is eyed as one of the solutions in addressing the power problems, particularly brought by the damaged 138-kV high voltage submarine cable of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) which connects the islands of Negros and Cebu.
The NGCP already estimated repairs to the submarine cable, which was accidentally damaged by dredging and re-channeling activities undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and will be completed by February of 2022.
The virtual meeting was also attended by representatives from the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco).
In a separate interview with RMN-DYHB Bacolod, Ceneco General Manager and Project Supervisor Atty. Dan Pondevilla noted that there are several biomass plants in Negros Occidental which cannot sell electricity or operate due to congestion in the transmission lines of the NGCP.
Pondevilla pointed out if the power generated by the biomass plants cannot pass through the NGCP’s transmission lines, it also cannot go directly to power distributors such as Ceneco./DGB, WDJ