Meralco sets up its 3rd digital substation in RLC township

By Lenie Lectura -November 22, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has put up its third digital substation within the premier township development of Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) that connects the cities of Pasig and Quezon City.

The utility firm on Thursday inaugurated an integrated and fully automated Gas-Insulated Switchgear (GIS) substation that will energize Bridgetowne. Meralco Senior Vice President and networks Head Ronnie L. Aperocho said the facility’s total project cost will reach P1 billion upon installation of a second transformer.

“The P1-billion cost is the complete cost once we put up the two transformers. For now, since there is only one transformer, the budget is around P550 million to P600 million. Also, we have to put up the lines and there are distribution automation components to be installed,” Aperocho said.

This is the third digital substation put up by the utility firm within its franchise area. The first two are located in Valencia, San Juan, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. in Manila. Aperocho said the Valencia digital substation costs P478 million while the investment to put up the Pagcor digital substation reached “close to P1.2 billion.”

Aperocho said four more are in the pipeline. “For the new substations that we will put up, these will all be digital.”

Lined up for next year are four digital substations to be located in Eton, Centris; Net Park, Taguig, Arca South, Taguig; and in Escoda, Manila.

Aperocho said the budget for the planned Eton substation is estimated at P532 million. For the Net Park substation, the investment could reach P478 million. The Escoda substation, he added, may cost P500 million. He did not say how much the Arca South substation will cost.

“If we can do it all next year, the better, because we really need it in our system. This is a continuous program as the load goes up,” he added.

Aperocho said the Bridgetowne substation will definitely improve dependability and reliability of electricity service in the Bridgetowne community and surrounding growth areas, as it relieves expected critical loading of nearby Hillcrest, Cainta, and SM-Shangri-La substations.

“The new technology utilized is expected to deliver an unprecedented amount of functionality for the benefit of Meralco and its customers,” he added.

He also said that Meralco could convert some of its analog substations into digital ones, depending on the company’s assessment of its first converted substation. “Our Masinag substation in Antipolo was converted from analog to digital. The retrofitting costs P30 million to P40 million. We will look at the results, then we can decide.”

This newest substation is part of Meralco’s roadmap to ensure adequate and reliable power supply for the growing needs of the locators within the 31-hectare project comprised of residential condominiums, office buildings, shopping centers, a 5-star hotel, as well as parks, a school, a hospital and public art installation.

Meralco’s 115 kV (kilovolt) to 34.5 kV facility, with an initial capacity of 83 Mega Volt-Ampere, is situated in a 1,293 sqm parcel of land provided by RLC via a collaborative real estate arrangement.  Residential communities in the area are also set to benefit from the Bridgetowne substation.

“Our vision for Bridgetowne is to increase job opportunities and progress in Quezon City, Pasig, and the immediate communities,” said RLC President Frederick Go. “And the fastest way to bring this vision to reality – for all our locators, and those residing and working in the area—is to collaborate with entities, such as Meralco, who share this vision with us.”

Proximity to a substation improves electric reliability and dependability, making it more enticing for businesses and BPOs to move their office spaces into Bridgetowne – a definite win for the land developer.

The new Bridgetowne substation follows the International Electrotechnical Commissions (IEC) 61850 digital communication protocol designed for electrical substations. This new model is designed to operate over modern networking technologies to perform monitoring, metering, real-time protection and control.