The Energy Regulatory Commission approved the application of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines to build the P7-billion Mindanao 230kV Transmission Backbone Project.
The ERC said in a statement the project would enable transmission facilities traversing from the northern to the southern corridors of Mindanao to accommodate the entry of new power plants.
The ERC said the project would also allow the output of existing power plants to be dispatched at their respective maximum capacities and transmitted throughout Mindanao to solve line congestion and load curtailment.
“The approval of the 230kV transmission backbone project will ensure sufficiency of supply, the reliability of power system and the power transfer in the Mindanao grid,” ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said.
The transmission project will support the entry of an additional 2,400 megawatts of generation capacity that are expected in northern and southern parts of Mindanao by 2018.
The power plants lined up for Mindanao include Filinvest Development Corp.’s 405-MW coal plant in Misamis Oriental (2016), GN Power coal’s 600-MW plant in Lanao del Norte (2017, 2018) and Therma South’s 600-MW coal plant in Davao del Sur (2015 to 2018).
Also joining the grid are San Miguel Corp.’s 600-MW plant in Davao del Sur (2015 to 2018) and Southern Mindanao’s 200-MW coal plant in Sarangani.
The ERC said the approval of the project follows earlier approvals, such as the Malita-Matanao 230 kV transmission line project in November 2014 and the Baloi-Kauswagan-Aurora 230 kV transmission line Phase 1 in June 2015.
The Malita-Mata-nao project, initially energized at 138 kV, was proposed to be increased to 230 kV to join the Matano-Toril-Bunawan 230 kV line and relieve the overloading of the existing Davao-Toril-Matanao 138 kV transmission line.
The Baloi-Kauswagan-Aurora project, meanwhile, will accommodate the output of GNPower’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte up to 2018.
National Grid said the development of the transmission corridors in Mindanao was essential to ensure a stable power network and supply in the island.
The project is estimated to cost P6.858 billion with a target completion date of 2017.
“With both supply and demand continuously increasing, the capacities of the existing transmission lines and substations will no longer be adequate by 2017,” it said.