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DOE projects positive power outlook in the Visayas in 2015

CEBU CITY, Dec. 29 — The Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas has projected a positive power outlook for the Visayas in 2015, amid concerns on the projected energy shortage in Luzon and the rising power rates.

DOE Visayas Director Antonio Labios said the power capacity of the region's grid would exceed the expected demand.

The DOE has estimated the peak power demand next year to grow by seven percent based on the national economic output growth estimate of seven percent in 2015.

Labios said the Visayas grid's dependable capacity can reach 2,100 megawatts (MW).

He said the commissioned power plants set to operate next year can further add capacity to the grid.

The peak demand next year, based on the agency's 2014-2020 power outlook, could reach 1,800 MW.

The supply-demand figures show the grid can have contingency reserve power in case of higher-than-expected demand.

"Overall, the Visayas power outlook is positive," Labios said.

But he said electricity consumption during the summer months will increase as El Niño is predicted to last until early 2015.

Renewable energy projects which are set to operate commercially next year will supply an additional capacity of 128.6 MW, slightly down from the initial figure of 135 MW.

Once the 128.6-MW power capacity is transported to the grid, he said the grid will eventually generate nearly 2,300 MW of dependable capacity.

These projects have already been committed, which means construction and commercial commissioning are already definite with financial closing.

The 50-MW wind power plant of Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. in Nabas, Aklan will operate in February for its phase one and in September for phase two.

Another 54-MW wind farm of Trans-Asia in San Lorenzo town in Guimaras, according to Labios, will operate by April. It was initially targeted to start commercial operations early next year.

The 18-MW Biomass project of San Carlos BioPower, Inc. in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental will start operations commercially in February, data from DOE indicates.

Another 3-MW HPC Biomass project and 3.6-MW AES Biomass are also set for operations in February and August, respectively.

Earlier, J. Rey Maleza, supervisor of DOE Visayas Energy Industry Management Division, said the Visayas grid could supply sufficient electricity for big events in 2015 such as the ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

Labios said the Visayas grid can also export a maximum 200 MW of power to Luzon next year to help ease the anticipated looming energy crisis. (PNA)

LAP/EB/

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