DOE: One power highway for PH soon a reality | Inquirer Business

DOE: One power highway for PH soon a reality

/ 02:20 AM April 20, 2023

MANILA  -The country will soon have one transmission line once the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) begins full operations in July, enabling power sharing across the Philippines’ three main islands.

The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday confirmed that National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) had begun testing the grid connecting Visayas and Mindanao by allowing the flow of 80 megawatts of power (MW) one way at a time.

Power streaming would be gradually increased to allow ample time for line construction and stringing, Energy Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said in an interview.


“They’re currently testing only one way [at a time] because they have to do the lines one by one,” she said. “They’re going to increase [capacity] until we reach July.”


Once fully operational, the project will allow power sharing of 450 MW of initial capacity between the two islands to avoid supply shortage. Any excess power from MVIP will then be transmitted to Luzon, thus creating one connected grid for the entire country.

Currently, only Luzon and Visayas are linked.

Guevara said the P52-billion MVIP would likely operate at half capacity, or 225 MW, by June before full operations start the following month.

The Visayas has, in recent years, built various solar projects that could provide excess power to Mindanao. The latter uses mostly hydro power plants, which can be seasonal at best.

The Mindanao and Visayas grids are being linked through 184 circuit-kilometers (ckm) of submarine cables and 422 ckm of overhead wires.

High-voltage direct current cables will connect the Lala Converter Station in Lanao del Norte to the Dumanjug Converter Station in Cebu, according to the NGCP.


The design ensures minimal loss and the transmission of sufficient power to areas with supply deficit.

The Energy Regulatory Commission gave its go signal for the MVIP in 2017. Construction of submarine cables began in 2018 in preparation for a December 2020 target completion date.

MVIP was eventually delayed due to restrictions triggered by the pandemic, forcing the NGCP to push back the start of operations to 2023.

Guevara explained that having only one transmission line in the Philippines would likewise help minimize the incidence of yellow alerts, or low power reserves, in Luzon, which is expected to reach a peak demand of 13,125 MW this year.

On Wednesday, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines said demand in the Luzon grid was at 12,120 MW while supply stood at 12,863 MW.

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The DOE earlier projected 15 yellow alerts in Luzon in 2023 due to high demand, but Guevara later softened this to 10 alerts because of “better weather conditions.” INQ

TAGS: Department of Energy (DOE), highway, power

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