As the El Nino season peaks, power grid operator NGCP steps up its campaign to warn the public against forming and spreading grassfires, especially in rural areas.
“NGCP is going all out in informing the public of the dangers and adverse effects of grassfires on transmission facilities. Not only is grassfire hazardous to the health of the people, it also poses a threat to power transmission facilities, particularly wood poles. If these structures are burnt, our transmission services might be interrupted,” stated NGCP.
The company also noted that the smoke from grassfires alone can cause tripping of transmission lines. “The fire does not have to physically touch the line for it to trip. The thick smoke alone can trigger these lines to trip and cause power interruption,” the company reiterated.
At the same time, NGCP thanked the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), particularly in Cagayan, who was quick to respond to grassfire incidents involving power transmission assets. Last April 3, a wood pole was burnt along one of NGCP’s transmission lines in the province. Fortunately, the incident did not result in a tripping.
Four of NGCP’s 69-kilovolt lines, mostly composed of wood poles, traverse Cagayan servicing the franchise areas of Cagayan I Electric Cooperative (CAGELCO I), Cagayan II Electric Cooperative (CAGELCO II), Isabela II Electric Cooperative (ISELCO II) and Kalinga Electric Cooperative (KAELCO) in Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao, and parts of Isabela provinces.
“The integrity of these lines is threatened by grassfires which, per field reports, are usually formed by farmers especially during the summer season. We reiterate our appeal to the public to stop these unsafe practices near transmission lines so power interruptions are avoided,” said NGCP.
NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets.
The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation led by Robert Coyiuto, Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner.
By Lilibeth Gaydowen