Napocor adds over 28 MW to plants serving off-grid areas

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Linemen install power cables
Linemen install cables on the Transco power transmission line in Santa Rosa town south of Manila on January 15, 2009 as the Chinese-led consortium officially took over a 25-year concession of the Philippines' national electricity grid as part of the government's privatization program. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which includes the State Grid Corporation of China, took over from the state corporation National Transmission Corporation (Transco) following the 3.95 billion USD purchase price for the concession it won in an auction in December 2007. AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD

THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) has installed power generation sets with a capacity of 28.686 megawatts (MW) to supplement the capacity of 38 power plants in off-grid areas — those belonging to the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG), the agency said over the weekend. 

Pio J. Benavidez, Napocor president and chief executive officer, said the deployment of the generation sets, which is expected to serve 176,000 households, is part of the company’s service upgrading in the countryside to ensure uninterrupted local business operations and implementation of the government’s development programs.

As of the first half, the generation sets were deployed and commissioned in various SPUG plants in 17 provinces such as Apayao, Batanes, Aurora, Quezon, Batangas, Romblon, Marinduque, Palawan, Albay, Masbate, Antique, Cebu, Bohol, Western Samar, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Sultan Kudarat.

“We are aware of the weight of our roles in the islands and off-grid areas. With power supply, we are able to improve commerce, health and education programs. This is more than enough inspiration for us to give our best in what we do,” said Mr. Benavidez in a statement.

Mr. Benavidez, who comes from the Bicol province of Catanduanes, an off-grid island, said the additional power will also meet the increasing demand in areas whose economies are improving or experiencing a boost from rural tourism. Napocor operates 275 SPUG plants in 189 municipalities in 34 provinces.

Napocor said another 17 plants outside the interconnected electricity grid have benefited from longer power operating hours. Two of these areas are San Vicente diesel power plant in Northern Samar, with eight hours added to its previous eight, and West Simunul diesel power plant in Tawi-Tawi, with six hours more from eight previously.

Under Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, Napocor is mandated to provide power generation and associated power delivery systems in missionary areas or islands and communities not connected to the main transmission grid. — Victor V. Saulon