Cusi pushes stronger grid connectivity for Aurora

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (second from left) with AURELCO General Manager Noel DV. Vedad, DOE Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos and Energy Resource Development Assistant Director Ismael U. Ocampo in a meeting Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (DOE image)

DEPARTMENT of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has expressed optimism that the sub-transmission projects in Aurora province would improve local electricity service.

“We are seeing stronger grid connectivity and functioning island- and micro-grids as a way forward to improve Aurora’s current power situation,” Cusi said on Tuesday at the sideline of President Rodrigo Duterte’s commemoration of the first anniversary of the renaming of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise.

“Aurora is a thriving province and we have to further equip them with effective energy systems to increase not just the stability of their power supply, but also their capability to be energy resilient, especially that it’s vulnerable to natural disasters brought by typhoons,” Cusi added.

Cusi used the occasion to meet with Aurora Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AURELCO) General Manager Noel DV. Vedad to discuss the island- and micro-grid designs, as well as the planned sub-transmission facilities in their franchise area for the possible connection expansion with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in the Municipality of San Luis, which is located south of Aurora’s capital, Baler.

Cusi and Vedad discussed about these plans to increase the reliability of electricity services in AURELCO’s franchise area, as part of the electric coop’s “redundancy” measures.

AURELCO is closely coordinating with the DOE’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Energy Regulatory Commission to put up a 69kV sub-transmission facility traversing Maria Aurora and Casiguran. This also includes a 5 megavolt ampere substation as endorsed by DOE to NEA, which forms part of the electric cooperative’s Distribution Development Plan.

When completed, the projects will provide stable and reliable services to the towns of Dinalungan, Casiguran, Dilasag in Aurora Province and Dinapigue in Isabela or the so-called “DICADIDI areas”.

The DICADIDI areas are currently being served by the National Power Corporation’s Small Power Utilities Group, which is isolated from the Luzon Grid.

The DOE said that sub-transmission projects are badly needed to improve electricity services in the AURELCO franchise area, including the facilitation of the graduation of AURELCO from its missionary electrification (or subsidy) status.

p: wjg