The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), National Power Corporation (NPC), Delta P, Palawan Power Generation Incorporated (PPGI), and DMCI Power Corporation laid down the reasons behind the blackouts in the city of Puerto Princesa during the question hour of the 143rd Regular Session of the Sangguniang Panglunsod on Monday, June 3.
NPC Power Plant Manager Engr. Larry I. Sabellina said the causes of the power outages can be traced to three sources. “Ang cause ng blackout ay tatlo: isa sa planta, isa sa linya ng PALECO, at tsaka isa transmission line ng NPC so, its a shared responsibility sa aming tatlo. So transmission line sa NPC, distribution line sa PALECO, power plant breakdown or faults ay dito sa mga IPPs (Independent Power Producers), so malalaman natin kung saan ang boundary natin isa-isa,” said Sabellina.
Engr. Sabellina explained that the common problems faced by PALECO and NPC in maintaining the lines are the animals that climb up to the power lines and the vegetation.
He also added that their line-clearing is constrained by the limitations imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Those problems na na-encounter ng NPC (line clearing) ay mayroon kaming constraints. Why? Because of the stringent policy ng DENR to limit us to clear the transmission line kasi mayroong policy sila na 3 meters lang from the top of the tree until the conductor namin, ‘yung transmission line, 3 meters. E nasa bundok ‘yung mga tower namin, ilang buwan, tataas nanaman, kawawa naman ‘yung mga lineman namin,” Sabellina explained.
PALECO also added that their distribution transformers are overloaded due to the excess usage of some residential consumers.
“Na-overload pa ‘yan (distribution transformers)… because what’s happening is that some consumers who are residential consumers, they are not informing us converting their load from residential nagiging may mga apartment na,” said PALECO Acting General Manager Engr. Nelson A. Lalas.
Engr. Lalas further said animals also pose a threat to the power lines and cause power interruptions in the city.
“It’s my first time here in Palawan and I really noticed that compared to some electric cooperatives in Palawan we have plenty of what is this, some animals which are we cannot really (control). ‘yan po ay isang in addition po dyan (reasons for power interruptions),” Lalas added.
Despite the power interruptions, Engr. Lalas added that the average time experienced by consumers is reduced compared to the power interruptions before based on the categorization of National Electrification Administration (NEA).
“On the part of this distribution line of PALECO, we may consider it that malaki po naman po ang pagbabago … based on the NEA categorization criteria or the data that we have now, from January because we made our study and with the help not only from PALECO but even our power provider, we are able to make on our SAIFI or this System Average Interruption Frequency Index that before talaga pong masyadong lagpas po tayo doon sa tolerance … to have the three minutes per consumer interruption, was able to we are able to reduce it to 2.3 right now,” Lalas explained.
PALECO is also planning to construct substations in Aborlan and Taytay to separate Puerto Princesa City from other municipalities so that the city will be not affected by faults in the northern and southern parts.
“Ang plan po namin dito, we are going to construct a power substation on the north and another substation on the south so that Puerto Princesa will no longer be affected by these line faults from the power plant areas. We are already acquiring a lot in Aborlan and in Taytay so that we can separate the load of Puerto Princesa. What is happening is that if there is certain interruption in the northern part or the southern part, which is we are on a same system, affected po lahat,” said Lalas.
To further improve the distribution services of PALECO, the cooperative plans to have additional technology called “SCADA”.
“Sinama po namin sa project and expenditures po … ‘yung pag-install po ng ‘SCADA’ (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition). ‘SCADA’ po para at least we can monitor different power plants on the parameters of their power supply, real-time makikita namin,” the Acting General Manager of PALECO said.
According to Induction Automation, SCADA is a system designed to control, monitor, process and gather real-time data in industrial organizations to address different issues to improve its efficiency.