The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is planning to connect the island of Mindoro to the main Luzon grid.
NGCP is the private operator of the country’s power transmission network.
In a petition before the Energy Regulatory Commission, NGCP said it plans to undertake the project, which will cost about P11 billion, to help improve power supply in the island.
“With the improvement of adequate and reliable power supply in the island as a result of the interconnection project, Mindoro will become more conducive for expanding businesses,” it said.
Under NGCP’s interconnection proposal, the island of Mindoro will be interconnected to the Luzon grid via submarine cables that will run through the 230-kilovolt (kV) substation in Batangas.
Two electricity distribution utilities—Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative and Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative — have long clamored for the project to help secure their power supply.
At present, only land-locked areas in Luzon and in Mindanao are connected to the grid while submarine cables link the islands of Cebu, Negros and Panay in the Visayas.
Mindoro gets its power supply from the National Power Corp.’s off-grid unit, the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG), which operates a 24-megawatt (MW) and 10-MW diesel plant; a 7.5-MW bunker fuel generating unit; and a 1.6-MW mini-hydropower facility in the island.
NGCP said as soon as regulators approve the interconnection project, “Mindoro will have access to cheap power from generators in Luzon.”
Diesel plants, which provide bulk of the island’s power supply, are relatively more expensive than conventional generating facilities like those running on coal and natural gas.
The private grid operator said that proposed coal and hydro plants with a projected capacity of 203 MW in Mindoro up to 2016 would be able to export excess supply to Luzon as well as encourage new power projects.
“The interconnection project will also help encourage the development of possible coal-fired power plants within Mindoro which could utilize the existing rich coal resources in the island,” it added.