The Philippines’ Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved phase one of the National Grid Corporation’s proposed $550m Leyte-Mindanao interconnection project.

The ERC said that the initial phase will involve preparing an updated project feasibility study, conducting a transmission route survey and hiring consultancy services.

This initial phase of the project is a precondition of phase two, which involves the physical construction of the proposed interconnection between the Leyte and Mindanao grids.

The ERC said that the project will benefit the national grid because it will optimize the operations of hydropower plants in Mindanao, improve the reliability of the Mindanao power system, optimize standby and spinning reserves through the sharing of reserves, and ensure the exchange of surplus electricity during periods of shortfall between major power systems.

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