Bilyonaryo - Business

Meralco to spend P39B in smart grid infrastructure to empower consumers, enhance reliability

Power utility giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has bared plans to invest over P39 billion in the next four years to ramp up its smart grid program.
Under the program, , energy will be cleaner, accessible, intelligent, connected and responsive to the needs of customers.
Meralco president Ray Espinosa said the power firm invested heavily in building a distribution utility last year. It launched the Operations Platform and Telecommunications Integrated Command Center (OPTIC), the first of its kind among electricity DUs in the country.
The OPTIC now manages all information, communication, and technology systems of Meralco.
To enhance system reliability and improve the efficiency of its power restoration efforts, Meralco piloted the Mobile Distribution Transformer Project reducing the usual two to three hour service interruption to only a few seconds.
“We are also laying the groundwork for our breakthrough Advanced Distribution Management System 2.0 and Advanced Metering Infrastructure to efficiently manage the evolving grid, integrate more renewable energy resources, and empower customers to monitor their energy use,” he said.
Espinosa said Meralco is also open to contracting supply from nuclear energy, specifically the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
“Meralco will favorably consider contracting reasonable and competitively priced supply from generation companies, including the BNPP if the same should become operational. However, Meralco may not have the internal competencies to operate and maintain the BNPP,” he said.
He said diversity of fuel sources is important for both energy security and affordability in the wake of recent surges in energy prices.