Understanding that power is indispensable to development, the Manila Electric Company unveiled on November 21 its third digital substation, sprawled across the breadth and length of a premier township wedged between Pasig and Quezon City, Robinson’s Land Corporation’s (RLC) Bridgetowne.
Part of Meralco’s smart grid journey, a roadmap to ensure adequate and reliable power supply to address the growing load growth of residential condominiums, office buildings, shopping centers, schools, parks, a five-star hotel among others, within the 31-hectare project, the integrated, fully automated and gas-insulated switchgear substation has a 115 kilovolt (kV) to 34.5 kV, with an initial capacity of 83 Mega Volt-Ampere. It 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.
RLC President Frederick Go said that the vision for Bridgetowne is to increase job opportunities and progress in Quezon City, Pasig and the immediate communities. “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.”
Go expressed optimism for the future growth of their development. “I am very happy to see that there are (additional) areas here (for power transformers) that future-proofs the Bridgetowne estate for many generations to come. We really have big plans for this, and we hope to build a lot of live-work-play-dream communities within the estate. And we will be echoing this to our business partners, that in Bridgetowne there is security in terms of power.”
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.
Meralco President and CEO Ray Espinosa said, “This is an example of what a mutually beneficial partnership can achieve and I hope that we can replicate this with our other business partners.”
“This is a future-proof substation already. It can take on the growth for the next 20 to 30 years,” Espinosa said, stressing that the sub-station uses fiber optics.
The new substation is one of the largest smart Gas-Insulated Switchgear projects Meralco has ever developed. Meralco SVP and Head of Networks Ronnie L. Aperocho said, “It will be served by an underground distribution system that employs full distribution automation technology and enables the remote-control operation of the facility.”
In other words, the new model can operate over modern networking technologies, enabling those in the Meralco head office to perform monitoring, metering and real-time protection and control tasks.
“If there’s a voltage drop or if a part of the system breaches its limits, through additional sensors we can deploy our people to look into them, find out what’s happening, and address those alerts in the system,” Aperecho said.
Added Aperecho: “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. Likewise, the new technology utilized is expected to deliver an unprecedented amount of functionality for the benefit of Meralco and its customers.”
Aside from top officials of Meralco and RLC, the City Administrator of Pasig Atty. Jeronimo U. Manzanero and Assistant City Administrator of Quezon City Alberto H. Kimpo, were also present during the inauguration of the Bridgetowne substation.
According to Meralco First Vice President and Head, Customer Retail Services and Corporation Communications Victor S. Genuino, “Strong partnership between Meralco and developers like Robinson’s Land Corporation yield significant benefits to Filipinos. Meralco is committed to delivering continuous, reliable, efficient and affordable power as we join hands with RLC, and Pasig and Quezon City governments in enabling developments that bring forth nation-building initiatives.”
The first two Meralco substations were that in Valencia in San Juan; and that in Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in Pasay City.
This project will spawn follow-throughs in other parts of the Metro, including those in Eton Centris in Quezon City, Net Park in Fort Bonifacio, the Arca South development in Taguig and the Escoda substation in Manila.