Gov’t urged to use non-hydro plants first in Mindanao | Inquirer Business

Gov’t urged to use non-hydro plants first in Mindanao

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 07:30 PM April 14, 2013

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is urging the government to use the power plants using fossil fuel and renewable energy in Mindanao to provide baseload capacity to the island instead of the large hydropower complexes.

This means that all existing coal, geothermal and diesel facilities in Mindanao will be prioritized to run at their full capacities first while the hydropower plants will be used as peaking plants, or tapped only to augment the existing supply during the so-called peak hours, according to Robert Mallillin, chair of the PCCI power committee.

This is a reversal of the current situation in which the hydropower facilities, particularly the Agus and Pulangui hydropower complexes, which have a combined installed capacity of 900 megawatts, provide the baseload capacity and are the first to be maximized. The current dispatch protocol has led to the underutilization of the diesel-fed power plants in Mindanao, Mallillin said.


However, he admitted that over the short term, the move to use the hydropower facilities as peaking plants instead of baseload plants would raise the electricity rates in Mindanao by P1.25 a kilowatt-hour.


“But this will only be [the case] until the [upcoming] coal-fired plants are connected to the grid to replace the costlier diesel plants used as baseload sources of power and assign them later to the cold reserve category,” he added.

PCCI vice president for Mindanao Ricky Juliano was quick to point out that Mindanaoans “are not opposed to higher rates as erroneously reported in many [newspapers] since they have known and accepted that the long-term response to the power shortage is the entry of fossil plants.”

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TAGS: Business, Energy, hydropower plants, Mindanao, News, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, power industry

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