Bohol continues to find ways to gradually detach from the Leyte grid for the growing power supply demand of the province.
Although Gov. Edgar Chatto floated the possibility of establishing inland electricity sources when he started his first term as governor, it was the magnitude 7.2 earthquake and the Supertyphoon Yolanda- -both affecting the province in 2013 at an interval of just barely half a month- -that prompted immediacy.
Bohol, up to now, is dependent on the Leyte grid for major power supply, although Chatto has been working out with power companies to develop inland sources.
Just last Friday, aÂ tripping in Ormoc-Maasin line caused an almost one-hour blackout in Bohol. The unscheduled power interruption hit Bohol from 9:51 p.m. to 10:47 p.m.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines traced the sudden shutdown of power supply to the tripping of the 138-kilovolt Ormoc-Maasin line in Leyte.
The tripping of the 138-kilovolt Ormoc-Maasin line in Leyte affected the operation of all the three power distribution utilities in Bohol- -Bohol Light Company, Inc., Boheco I and Boheco II.
Even the NGCP earlier admitted that Leyte, being prone to weather systems such as typhoons and low pressure area, makes it unreliable to meet the future electricity requirement of Bohol both in terms of meeting the demand and stability.
Boholâ€™s total electricity demand ranges from 64 megawatts to 67 megawatts and with the economic growth, it is expected to increase toÂ 75 megawatts by 2019 and up to 113 megawatts by 2043.
â€œApproximately 87 percent of the 67MW consumption is being supplied for by the Leyte-Bohol transmission line connecting the island to the main Visayas Gridâ€ as shown in the load forecasts tracked in the Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP).
â€œThe BIPDP serves as the basis for Boholâ€™s future power and energy investments as it consists of the Bohol Island Power Supply Plan (BIPSP), Transmission Development Plan (TDP), Distribution Development Plan(s) (DDP), and Electrification Planâ€.
Chatto issued an executive order in January 2014, creating the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG).
BEDAG initiated the formulation of the Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP) with the assistance from the United States Agency for International Development-Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (USAID-COMPETE) Project.
The BIPDP, a long-term energy plan for the province, is aimed at ensuring security of supply- -that is, available when needed; ensuring reliability and resiliency that entails climate-proofing of supply; and ensuring affordability.
BEDAG â€œis an institutional mechanism for planning, implementing, and monitoring of power development initiatives in Boholâ€.
It is â€œa multi-sector group composed of various representatives from the Local Government Unit, Private Sector, Academia, the NGCP, and the three local distribution utilitiesâ€.
The BIPSP attracted a number of energy-developing companies and the Aboitiz group is one of the stable investors that considers Bohol.
BEDAG earlier â€œendorsed the transmission plan presented by NGCP where an alternate Cebu-Bohol transmission link shall be provided to ensure connectivity of Bohol to the main Visayas Grid. This alternate transmission link will also allow export of excess power from Bohol if more generating resources are developed with the islandâ€, as earlier reported by the governor.
He also said BEDAG has also resolved that all investments in power shall be subjected to scientific study and evaluation to ensure that they will be beneficial to the consumers of Bohol and are consistent with the goals, objectives and plans set out in the BIPDP.