By Lalaine M. Jimenea
A BLACKOUT caused by a tripping at the Ormoc Substation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) based at Brgy. Milagro in Ormoc City plunged Ormoc, a majority of the towns of Leyte Province and the whole of Biliran Island in darkness for most of the night starting 6:38 PM of Sunday, November 15.
In an advisory to the media right after the blackout happened, the NGCP said that “Please be informed that power in areas served by LEYECO V (Ormoc, Talisayan, Sambulawan, VOMI, LIDE, SPMI & SC Global), BILECO, LEYECO III and DORELCO was interrupted at 6:38 PM, Nov. 15, 2009 (Sunday) due to technical problem in our substation equipment”.
Engr. Alvin Santos, planning engineer of operations, said that power was restored to their operations actually at 10:43 PM, but individual power consumers had it much later as a protective measure adopted by their electric cooperatives, he explained. However, he said, this came from the Maasin feeder.
The Ormoc substation began giving power to Ormoc by 11:50 PM, when the substation that tripped was restored. However, Santos again said they are still trying to determine the cause of the tripping.
He said the substation tripped because of an “actual differential protection”, meaning that the protection gears of their equipment went to work when it detected an anomaly, to protect their equipment. He assured that the fault was within the system and was already being investigated, so that a similar occurrence is avoided in the future.
He said that the “fault” is different from a previous blackout that did not only affect Ormoc and neighboring towns but also Cebu and as far as Negros.
As of the time of the interview, Santos said that giving power to Biliran and Dorelco is the feeder in Babatngon, while the abaca plants in Baybay are getting it from Maasin. He said that once power is fully restored, there could be another power interruption but promised they would keep it short, just so to make way for a full system restoration.