Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has been sorting out solutions to improve power supply situation in off-grid areas, or those islands that are not physically connected to the main grid.

The energy chief said the template solution that the Department of Energy (DOE) has been working on is that on Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO) – and the proposed fix will be for the power utility to contract supply based on its peak demand requirement.

“We will address the issue of the other island-provinces,” the energy chief noted, adding that the solution shall be dependable for the long-term and not just for the duration of the forthcoming election period.

Cusi brought with him last week the officials of the DOE’s attached agencies – primarily the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA), for a site visit so they can all comprehensively assess the situation in Mindoro, and for them to recommend the warranted solutions to the province’s power supply problems.

“We’re working together, so there’s no more finger pointing. So whoever is responsible, we can already take action or make a decision. So far, we have already done with as far as the issue of generation, transmission and distribution in Mindoro is concerned,” Cusi stressed.

The energy chief qualified that one vital item acted upon for Mindoro was on its need to contract additional 25 megawatts, so it can satiate its electricity requirements, especially during peak demand periods.

“As I’ve said, we cannot be working on the average — but you have to look at the peak 65 megawatts; and put 20-percent allowance. So that is something like they need 78MW,” he emphasized, adding that the 25MW shortfall is a matter that the local power utility has to immediately address with power supply contracting.

Cusi conveyed he instructed both ORMECO and state-run NPC to provide a solution to that problem by September 30 this year – hence, the competitive selection process (CSP) for the additional capacity needs of the Oriental Mindoro power utility may already be waived.

“We cannot let people wait for us to do CSP or contracting, we have to address this problem on generation immediately. So NPC will come in to find ways, and we’re working on a timeline of September 30 this year,” the energy chief pointed out.

Cusi specified that if their initiative in Mindoro will yield successful outcomes, then that will serve as a template for application of solutions in various off-grid areas in the country. ###

Source: Manila Bulletin (