NGCP blames Visayas power outage on lightning strikes; DOE seeks quick action


Posted at Aug 21 2021 11:16 AM

MANILA— The Department of Energy (DOE) on Saturday told the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to fix the blackout in various parts of Visayas, which the consortium blamed on "lightning." 

In a statement, the NGCP explained that a lightning strike led to the "simultaneous tripping of lines," thus causing outages in many parts of Visayas shortly after midnight.

The NGCP said the power lines that tripped due to lightning were the Colon-Cebu 138kV 1, 2, 3 and the Colon-Quiot 138kv. 

The provinces of Cebu, Leyte, Samar, and Bohol were among the areas affected, according to the consortium. 

"PAGASA Visayas issued a bulletin last night on moderate to heavy rainshowers with lightning and strong winds due to thunderstorms over Metro Cebu," an earlier statement read. 

Majority of the power loads, meanwhile, have been restored as early as 5:48 a.m., NGCP Spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza said.

"Efforts to restore power transmission services to affected power customers began immediately, with the first loads restored at 12:52 a.m... NGCP is still working on the restoration of loads associated with electric cooperative LEYECO V," Alabanza added.

The Isabel substation, which provides power to some areas in Leyte under the LEYECO V, has yet to be energized again, the NGCP pointed out, but they are already "expediting" efforts to resolve the issue. 

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the "partial system blackout" should be prevented in the future.

“We are asking the NGCP, who is responsible for system operations, to provide the immediate remedy to this ‘system failure’, to explain to its customers the reason for this, and to prevent this from happening again," Cusi was quoted as saying.

The official was supposedly informed of the development through the NGCP's office in the Visayas and through the distribution utilities' social media pages.

Cusi also urged the Energy Regulatory Commission to "look into this matter."


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