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Leyte lights up post-quake

By Jima Zandra J. Vergara

ORMOC CITY – Cheers and jeers were heard, while some even did the ‘happy dance’ the moment electricity went up in this city late evening of July 13, Thursday. In a press release issued by
the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the company shared that earlier that afternoon at 4:38PM and 5:49PM, “NGCP successfully energized two transformers in its Ormoc
Substation after careful evaluation, corrective measures and testing,” and was just awaiting to receive power either from Cebu or from the Malitbog and Upper Mahiao geothermal power plants of the Enegy Development Corporation (EDC), which plants were also affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks.

“NGCP is pleased to report that with the dedication of our technical team, our Ormoc facility is now partially energized and ready for a maximum transmittable capacity of 135MW of power.
Possible supply may be from Cebu or the EDC plants,” read the NGCP press release. Finally, at 7:40PM, NGCP energized its Ormoc feeder with 10MW of power. The same press release reports
that “with the 150 MegaVolt Ampere (MVA) transformer 3 and 100MVA transformer 5 online, power will be evenly transmitted to partially supply the power requirements of Distribution Utilities
(DUs) in Leyte, Samar, Biliran, and Bohol.”

“In coordination with the authorities, the priority will be to light up key cities like Ormoc and Tacloban. Our customers can be assured that our restoration efforts will continue until every part of the grid is restored,” further read the company release. As of this writing, the grid continues to test the other transformers in the Ormoc substation and, “once successfully energized, will expand the facility’s capacity to accommodate power supply.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with LEYECO V Information Officer, Roy Magdadaro, over EV Mail sa Radyo on July 14, Friday, he shared that about 9MW of power was received by the cooperative for use by the whole of Ormoc. This, he said, is more or less 50% of the city’s regular consumption of 16MW, which means that Ormocanons would need to “share” the available power.
Sharing redounds to, Magdadaro said, refraining from using appliances that consume much electricity, such as air-conditioning units, flat iron, oven toaster, microwave oven, rice cooker and water heater/dispenser to name a few.

Magdadaro warned that if LEYECO V consumers fail to comply and the Ormoc substation becomes “overloaded”, the city could experience sudden blackouts, which could damage whatever home or office appliance that was turned on at the time of the blackout.

In fact, so every consumer is aware, LEYECO V continuously, at times hourly, updates its Facebook page about the need to conserve power.
In a July 14 9:57AM update, LEYECO V posted this:

“ATONG GIPAHIBALO SA TANANG TAGKONSUMO SA LEYECO V NGA DILI PA NORMAL ANG ATONG SUPPLY SA KORYENTE. GIHATAGAN LANG ANG ATONG KOOPERATIBA UG 10MW NGA ALLOCATION SA NGCP. APAN KARONG ORASA MIABOT NA KINI UG 15MW. TUNGOD NIINI, MAG LOAD DROP KITA O MAG IBAN UG LOAD ANG ATONG SUBSTATION. BUSA NAGPASABOT KINI NGA MAHITABO NA GYOD AND ROTATING BROWNOUT. ANG SCHEDULE NIINI AMONG ITALA SA SUNOD ANNOUNCEMENT (LEYECO V consumers are being informed that our current supply of electricity isn’t normal just yet. Our cooperative has been given a 10MW allocation from NGCP. However, as of this time, it has reached 15MW already. Because of this, our substation will need to “load drop”. Thus, there is a possibility that the cooperative will need to implement a “rotating brownout”. Schedule will be posted in the next announcement.)”
A “rotating brownout” schedule did appear on LEYECO V’s FB page a few hours later, detailing a “Rotating Brownout Schedule Effective July 15, 2017” but is “subject to change depending on the available capacity from the power supplier/s (power plants and NGCP)”, it continued to read.
Consumers are once again advised to minimize the use or refrain from using “power-hungry devices”.

The July 6 6.5 magnitude earthquake that shook Leyte damaged all six transformers of NGCP’s Ormoc Substation as well as the Luzon-Visayas Interconnection Link, per NGCP, which caused the region-wide blackout.

A July 31 deadline set by the Department of Energy (DOE) is what is guiding NGCP in their “REPAIR, REPLACE, and RECONFIGURE plan, wherein simultaneous strategies are being done to restore, even partially, power transmission services in the islands of Leyte, Samar, Biliran, and Bohol”.

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