Brownouts prolonged in Buseco areas

Photo courtesy of pumpkinandchocolate.blogspot.com

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/22 March) From 2.5 hours, consumers belonging to the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco) are now experiencing at least a six hour daily brownout, rotational only because the interruption changes only by either starting in the morning or in the afternoon.

A team of Buseco officials led by general manager Edgardo Masongsong revealed this to reporters Wednesday in a press conference they called to explain the Mindanao-wide power interruptions.

But Leonard Leyros, public relations officer of Buseco told this reporter via telephone Thursday the schedule is temporary. But he confirmed that the 9 to 3:30p.m. and 3:30p.m. to 10p.m. alternate schedule has been experienced by Buseco consumers.(Update: As of March 23, the schedule has returned to 2.5 hours, rotational – The Editor)

Masongsong said they were forced to implement rotational power curtailment because the Mindanao power grid shortage of about 320 megawatts. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has cited lower water levels in Lake Lanao as cause of the reduction.

But the curtailment is not experienced throughout the province.

Rene Cortizano, general manager of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, which covers southern Bukidnon, said they have no power curtailment in their area.

Based on Masongsong’s presentation, Buseco has incurred 11.65 megawatt deficiency since January 2012, 5.96 megawatt in February, and 6.20 megawatt in March.

Buseco covers Malaybalay City, Cabanglasan, Lantapan, Impasugong, Libona, Baungon, Malitbog, Manolo Fortich, and Sumilao

Masongsong illustrated that of their 24.42 megawatt peak demand level of Buseco in January, they were able to obtain only 12.77 megawatts contracted energy with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation or PSALM, the corporation that took over the power generation from National Power Corporation.

In February, they contracted only 14.266 megawatts out of 20.23 megawatts peak demand (the power demand during peak hours). In March, they were able to contract 14.21 megawatts with PSALM out of their 20.41 megawatt peak demands.

The peak demand next month, April is lower at 19.98 megawatts. The problem is, Buseco obtained only about 9.901 contracted energy with PSALM. This means by April, Buseco will obtain power deficiency of 10 megawatts.

Masongsong said they took both short term and long term steps to address the problem. Buseco already signed a five-megawatt power supply agreement with Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine Inc, which operates two power barges.

But Masongsong said they are negotiating with the Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite the approval of the PSA. Buying power from TMI means charging higher power costs to consumers, which is allowed only upon approval by the ERC.

Masongsong said they were able to buy from TMI at P13.90 per kilowatt-hour, which is almost double to its rate without TMI at P7.3533 per kilowatt-hour.

He said they are asking the Sanngguniang Panlalawigan to pass a resolution urging the ERC to approve it soonest.

But even if the ERC approves the PSA this month, Masongsong said this won’t stop the power curtailment. In April for example, the deficiency is 10 megawatts, so even with the five megawatt-supply from TMI, there will still be five megawatts more needed.

Masongsong cited some of Buseco’s options to address the power shortage but the earliest, is operational only in 2012 to 2013 and with only a quarter of a megawatt. Among the other options include Interruptible Load Program, which makes use of power generations from private institutions, embedded diesel fuel, and hydro power in the medium and the long run.

Notably, the demand by other stakeholders like Power Alternative Agenda for Mindanao (Palag Mindanao) to urge President Benigno Aquino III to order the transfer of three power barges in Panay to Mindanao to address the power crisis.

Masongsong, who heads the Power Supply Aggregation Group Corporation (PSAGCOR), said there were reports the power barges were not functional. But he added that if the barges are transferred to Mindanao, Buseco will buy more power to augment its capacity.

Buseco pushed for energy saving tips to consumers like turning the refrigerators at night.

But Buseco board member Oliver Aldovino, who is among three board members who figured in some legal clash with Masongsong, said the power curtailment could have been avoided if the management took timely measures in anticipation of the power shortage.

Rene Cortizano, Fibeco general manager, told this report last week they have no power curtailment yet because they were able to secure a long term power supply agreement with PSALM, have availed of power supply from a milling company in Maramag, and within months will avail of power supply from an embedded diesel fired power plant to augment its supply.

Masongsong admitted that they were able to obtain only a short term contract with PSALM after its earlier contract expired last year.

But he said Buseco has a larger commercial clientele than Fibeco, which he said is largely residential.

He added that the problem is not only for the electric cooperatives to address.

“This is for the Department of Energy to address as they are the energy responsible for this,” he added. He said the Department of Energy must also issue a memorandum circular that ensures a protocol is followed on dispatch of available capacity by the NGCP to ensure transparency.

Unless a protocol is followed then there is no transparency, he added. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/22 March) From 2.5 hours, consumers belonging to the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco) are now experiencing at least a six hour daily brownout, rotational only because the interruption changes only by either starting in the morning or in the afternoon.

A team of Buseco officials led by general manager Edgardo Masongsong revealed this to reporters Wednesday in a press conference they called to explain the Mindanao-wide power interruptions.

But Leonard Leyros, public relations officer of Buseco told this reporter via telephone Thursday the schedule is temporary. But he confirmed that the 9 to 3:30p.m. and 3:30p.m. to 10p.m. alternate schedule has been experienced by Buseco consumers. He could not tell yet when the schedule will change.

Masongsong said they were forced to implement rotational power curtailment because the Mindanao power grid shortage of about 320 megawatts. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has cited lower water levels in Lake Lanao as cause of the reduction.

But the curtailment is not experienced throughout the province.

Rene Cortizano, general manager of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, which covers southern Bukidnon, said they have no power curtailment in their area.

Based on Masongsong’s presentation, Buseco has incurred 11.65 megawatt deficiency since January 2012, 5.96 megawatt in February, and 6.20 megawatt in March.

Buseco covers Malaybalay City, Cabanglasan, Lantapan, Impasugong, Libona, Baungon, Malitbog, Manolo Fortich, and Sumilao

Masongsong illustrated that of their 24.42 megawatt peak demand level of Buseco in January, they were able to obtain only 12.77 megawatts contracted energy with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation or PSALM, the corporation that took over the power generation from National Power Corporation.

In February, they contracted only 14.266 megawatts out of 20.23 megawatts peak demand (the power demand during peak hours). In March, they were able to contract 14.21 megawatts with PSALM out of their 20.41 megawatt peak demands.

The peak demand next month, April is lower at 19.98 megawatts. The problem is, Buseco obtained only about 9.901 contracted energy with PSALM. This means by April, Buseco will obtain power deficiency of 10 megawatts.

Masongsong said they took both short term and long term steps to address the problem. Buseco already signed a five-megawatt power supply agreement with Aboitiz-owned Therma Marine Inc, which operates two power barges.

But Masongsong said they are negotiating with the Energy Regulatory Commission to expedite the approval of the PSA. Buying power from TMI means charging higher power costs to consumers, which is allowed only upon approval by the ERC.

Masongsong said they were able to buy from TMI at P13.90 per kilowatt-hour, which is almost double to its rate without TMI at P7.3533 per kilowatt-hour.

He said they are asking the Sanngguniang Panlalawigan to pass a resolution urging the ERC to approve it soonest.

But even if the ERC approves the PSA this month, Masongsong said this won’t stop the power curtailment. In April for example, the deficiency is 10 megawatts, so even with the five megawatt-supply from TMI, there will still be five megawatts more needed.

Masongsong cited some of Buseco’s options to address the power shortage but the earliest, is operational only in 2012 to 2013 and with only a quarter of a megawatt. Among the other options include Interruptible Load Program, which makes use of power generations from private institutions, embedded diesel fuel, and hydro power in the medium and the long run.

Notably, the demand by other stakeholders like Power Alternative Agenda for Mindanao (Palag Mindanao) to urge President Benigno Aquino III to order the transfer of three power barges in Panay to Mindanao to address the power crisis.

Masongsong, who heads the Power Supply Aggregation Group Corporation (PSAGCOR), said there were reports the power barges were not functional. But he added that if the barges are transferred to Mindanao, Buseco will buy more power to augment its capacity.

Buseco pushed for energy saving tips to consumers like turning the refrigerators at night.

But Buseco board member Oliver Aldovino, who is among three board members who figured in some legal clash with Masongsong, said the power curtailment could have been avoided if the management took timely measures in anticipation of the power shortage.

Rene Cortizano, Fibeco general manager, told this report last week they have no power curtailment yet because they were able to secure a long term power supply agreement with PSALM, have availed of power supply from a milling company in Maramag, and within months will avail of power supply from an embedded diesel fired power plant to augment its supply.

Masongsong admitted that they were able to obtain only a short term contract with PSALM after its earlier contract expired last year.

But he said Buseco has a larger commercial clientele than Fibeco, which he said is largely residential.

He added that the problem is not only for the electric cooperatives to address.

“This is for the Department of Energy to address as they are the energy responsible for this,” he added. He said the Department of Energy must also issue a memorandum circular that ensures a protocol is followed on dispatch of available capacity by the NGCP to ensure transparency.

less a protocol is followed then there is no transparency, he added. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)