Philippines grid operator upgrades distribution infrastructure

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The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) signed a $27 million deal with smart grid solutions firm ABB to strengthen the country's grid infrastructure.

Under the deal, ABB will design and supply some 18 smart grid transformers to help NGCP improve its energy distribution and the reliability of its grid network.

The deal falls under a programme designed by the NGCP to modernise its grid infrastructure and improve its customer services by increasing its power capacity to avoid load shedding.

The smart grid transformers will be deployed in existing and new substations throughout the Philippines.

In 2015, the NGCP had put forth a bid for the supply and installation of the company’s three smart grid transformers.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines is a privately owned corporation responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of the country’s state-owned power transmission and distribution systems.

Smart grid adoption and grid reliability

Utilities in the Philippines are implementing various measures to ensure they improve the stability of their grid system through the use smart grid solutions.

During the last quarter of 2016, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), announced the operation of its new smart grid facility in Pasig city to improve its adoption of grid innovation.

The utility company will use the new facility ‘Power Tech’ to implement research, development and testing of new and existing smart grid innovation. The energy distribution firm provides services to some 5.8 million consumers and will use the facility to provide its staff with technical training on smart grid technologies and equipment.

Power Tech is expected to drive grid innovation by uniting the private sector, government and sectors in research and development of smart grid technologies.

Ramon Segismundo, senior vice president at Meralco, said the 3,000 sqm facility will “contribute to the development and advancement of the power and energy ecosystem.”

The facility will be powered by energy generated from solar and wind. [Meralco receives approval for grid expansion plans].

In late August, Meralco had announced that it will implement an automated metering infrastructure project to equip 3.3 million of its customers with smart meters by 2024.

Alfredo S. Panlilio, vice-president at Meralco, added that the distribution utility forecasts that its customer base to reach 7-8 million by 2024, of which 3.3 million will receive a smart meter over the course of the next eight years.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.