Monday, June 18, 2018
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DOE moves to address Aurora’s power woes

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.

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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 5-megavolt ampere substation, the installation of which is part of Aurelco’s distribution development plan.

Cusi noted that, when completed, these projects would provide “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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TAGS: Aurora Electric Cooperative (Aurelco), Department of Energy, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Philippine Rise
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