Meralco eyes microgrid system to serve remote communities

MANILA The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is looking at using the microgrid system to power up far-flung, hard-to-reach communities.

The Oxford Dictionaries define microgrid as "a small network of electric users with a local source of supply that is usually attached to a centralized national grid but is able to function independently".

"We're very sensitive to the government's desire regarding the electrification of communities across the country. We're looking at microgrid in serving the communities," Meralco Chief Executive Officer Oscar Reyes said, after Tuesday's stockholders' meeting in Ortigas, Pasig City.

"We'd like to have a role in bringing electricity to the communities," Reyes said.

Meralco is the Philippines' largest power distributor, serving about three-fourths of all electricity users in Luzon, or over five million electricity customers.

Within Meralco's franchise, close to 98 percent have been given electricity, Reyes said.

"The 2 percent is hard to reach, but we will not give up on that 2 percent," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Department of Energy (DOE) spokesperson Felix William Fuentebella told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) earlier this week that among the challenges the agency is facing in providing electricity to communities are the validation of data, right of way access, terrain, and distance, as well as social acceptability of the design.

The DOE plans to introduce smart grid technologies, citing these as efficient in significantly reducing systems losses and other operational inefficiencies.

"Smart grid technology is the term used when the energy facilities are equipped with the ability to communicate with each other. It provides energy players and users with real-time data. It results in energy efficiency," Fuentebella said.

Also at the annual membership assembly of the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. last week, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said he wants the electrification of the entire northern Negros and all communities across the country. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency