THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said Thursday that electric cooperatives (ECs) need to develop their own emergency generation capacity to serve as standby power when needed.

“ECs should be aggressive in as far as developing, installing, and operating their own embedded power generation, not only to meet peak electricity demand but to provide standby or emergency power during calamities,” NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong said in a statement.

Such projects can also mitigate power supply shortages in the EC coverage areas, he added.

Mr. Masongsong directed the NEA’s Total Electrification and Renewable Energy Development department to help ECs launch their own embedded power generation projects.

He added that ECs should also explore options in renewable energy (RE) to meet demand in their respective franchise areas.

In the same statement, the NEA announced it has completed feasibility studies related to the hybridization of existing diesel power plants with RE and battery energy storage systems in North and West Samar. 

At present, it is studying the possibility of establishing a hybrid mini-grid system powered by RE in six off-grid areas.

The NEA earlier reported that ECs connected 148,792 new power consumers in the first quarter, up 11% from a year earlier. The agency has a target of 400,000 for the year.

As of June 16, the nationwide electrification rate was 90% with 14.45 million consumers covered within the franchise areas of 121 ECs. — Angelica Y. Yang