El Nido residents to experience more power outages due to insufficient power supply

El Nido Municipal Hall

It’s too far from over. Power outages are likely to continue in the town of El Nido, Palawan due to insufficient power supply for meeting the demand of consumers, particularly big resorts and establishments emergent in different parts of the town.

El Nido town Mayor Nieves Rosento said that the current demand is almost 3 megawatts and it is expected to increase once Ayala Corporation starts its operation. The mega-company’s project is seen to reach 7 megawatts.

“Kakailanganin natin ng halos 10 megawatts. Sa ngayon umaabot, maliit lang ang reserve natin lalo dahil ang inaasahan nating dalawang makina ng NAPOCOR na galing sa San Vicente ay bumigay pa ang isang makina,” said Mayor Rosento.

Residents of El Nido have been airing complaints on social media due to intermittent power trip-offs which have been affecting their livelihood and are embarrassing to tourists visiting the world-renowned destination.

Jefferey Tan Endriga, chair of the board of Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), said they already have bidders for a hybrid technology to augment the power supply in El Nido. However, they are facing some challenges because of some “political maneuvering”. Endriga refused to give details about the alleged maneuvers but assured consumers that they will push for the said technology as it is more efficient.

“Ang PALECO is an independent body. We will pursue the plan for a hybrid technology kasi low-speed ang makina na gagamitin kaya mas efficient,” Endriga said.

The hybrid technology will use solar, battery and base load (bunker) to ensure consistent power supply should one of the main sources of energy fail to continue operation.

Endriga said that should the project push through, it will be the first of its kind in Palawan.

According to a source of Palawan News, one power company is proposing to provide solar power to El Nido but the project is currently on hold as it has yet to pass through PALECO’s selection process. This a process that all prospective investors are required to go through to validate a project’s technological efficiency and capability to sustain the increasing demand of the town.

Aside from the insufficiency in supply, Rosento also cited overloaded transformers of some big business establishments in the area as part of the reasons for the power outages. This issue, according to her, is being checked by PALECO personnel as per instruction of the chief executive.

Sunday, April 16, an establishment was razed by fire after the staff opened the generator set because of brownout. The generator had a mechanical problem which caused the fire. The incident made residents more furious, blaming the frequent power outages in the town.

(with reports from Melba Pagayona Daganta )

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