Visayas, Mindanao grids linked by June

The long-delayed project will be 80 percent complete by the end of the month


Electricity supply has been uneven for so long due to the failure of the power network operator to interconnect the country’s three power grids.

It will now be in a better condition once the P52-billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project or MVIP is completed by the first half of the year.

In an interview with reporters at the sidelines of a forum hosted by the Makati Business Club on Monday, no less than Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla confirmed that the long-delayed project will be 80 percent complete by the end of the month.

“The interconnection between Mindanao and Visayas will be 80 percent complete by March. So some excess power from 450 megawatts available through the submarine cable, 80 percent of that can be transported to Visayas,” Lotilla told reporters.

“By 30 June 2023, the project will be fully completed and it was also indicated that the Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection will also be completed at that time,” he said.

Lotilla pointed out that the project will allow the transfer of stranded power capacity from one island to another.

Unified grid

The MVIP will link all three major Philippine islands to create one grid.

The NGCP was authorized by the Energy Regulatory Commission to start building the project way back in 2017. It was initially scheduled to be completed in 2020 but it was delayed due to the pandemic.

The MVIP will use 184 circuit kilometers of submarine cables, plus 526 circuit kilometers of overhead wires to connect Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte to Santander, Cebu using High-Voltage Direct Current or HVDC cables.

HVDC cables will be able to efficiently transmit energy between Mindanao and Visayas with minimal loss, ensuring that sufficient power is transmitted to areas that need it the most.

Manageable summer

In a related development, Lotilla said the Department of Energy encourages Filipinos to change lifestyle habits to help manage the increasing power demand.

He said managing demand will help lessen the threats of yellow and red alerts.

“We are seeing El Nino projections and therefore we will see high temperatures. For every one-degree increase in temperature, we will need roughly around 100 megawatts of additional power, that’s why we have to manage the demand side,” Lotilla explained.

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