The utility company will use the new facility ‘Power Tech’ to implement research, development and testing of smart grid innovation. The facility will be used for technical training on smart grid technologies and equipment for Meralco staff.
The facility will provide a test bed for existing and new smart grid innovation in the Philippines.
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 operate on energy generated from solar and wind.
Smart grid innovation
In late August, the utility firm 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 projects the number of its customers to reach 7-8 million by 2024, whereby 3.3 million of which will receive a smart meter over the course of eight years.
The smart meters are expected to closely respond to network concerns, including a quicker response in isolating defective connections.
He added that the utility has a pending application with industry regulator Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the approval of 235,000 smart meters.
According to a release, by November this year, the number of Meralco customers will reach 6 million, but only 1% of the utility's total customer base would have been equipped with smart meters.
The senior VP noted that one factor preventing the speedier rollout of smart meters is cost, which he placed at around $100 per unit. [Indian state utilities to receive smart grid training].
Right now, Meralco can remotely monitor only up to the level of transformers on which a number of customers are connected.
Image credit: www.reminetwork.com.