Given well-anticipated dilemma of recurring power supply shortages, the country’s electric cooperatives (ECs) are being urged to take ‘embedded power generation’ as added recourse to ensure that their services to consumers are not disrupted.

This has been the call set out by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), with it propounding that the ECs’ investment in embedded power generation can “mitigate future power supply shortages in their respective coverage areas.”

NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong primarily noted that these on-the-fence power generation assets “could serve as supplemental energy supply during peak demand times; and reserve or back-up power to consumers during emergencies or calamities.”

He expounded the ECs “should be aggressive in as far as developing, installing and operating their own embedded power generation – not only to meet peak electricity demand but to provide standby or emergency power during calamities.”

From the rotational brownouts that tormented Luzon electricity consumers this year, it is expected that such quandary of supply shortfalls or the so-called ‘red alert’ incidents in the grid due to reserve deficiency may happen again in next year’s summer months up to year 2023-2024.

In line with the NEA directive on that alternative for the power utilities, Ernesto Silvano Jr., head of the agency’s Total Electrification and Renewable Energy Development Department (TEREDD), had been designated to “assist the ECs in developing their own embedded power generation.”

Masongsong primarily sought the ECs’ concurrence “to explore the use of renewable energy sources, like solar, wind, hydro and biomass to help meet growing energy demand in their respective franchise areas.”

The NEA chief indicated that “a feasibility study is ongoing on the establishment of a hybrid mini-grid system using renewable energy” and that shall cover at least six unserved off-grid areas.

These proposed installations shall be in the franchise areas of Quezon II Electric Cooperative Inc. (QUEZELCO II); Zamboanga del Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (ZANECO); and South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative Inc. (SOCOTECO).

In addition, the agency divulged that feasibility studies had so far been completed “for the hybridization of existing diesel power plants with renewable energy and battery.”

Targets on such hybrid technology deployments are 10 islands in Northern and Western Samar; and this is in collaboration with the National Economic and Development Authority.

Source: Manila Bulletin (