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NGCP still working on smart grid status with technical partner SGCC


By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Jinan, China — As the Philippines continues to pursue smart grid technology for a much reliable power sector, the country’s grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is banking on its existing partnership with the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) to be able to tap advanced technologies for its smart grid pilot project.

Amid growing participation of Asian markets in the global smart grid industry, the Philippines has been one of the countries in the region that is yet to fully incorporate technology into its energy sector.

Smart grid, as defined by NGCP, is a contemporary electric grid that makes use of digital automatic devices, intelligent primary equipment, and advance applications to improve the reliability, economics, and sustainability of a country’s power distribution and production.

China, which is now known for having the one of the best power grids in the world, has been investing significant amount of money into smart grid technology for a much stronger power infrastructure as well as in order to accommodate new clean energy capacity.

Through SGCC, the world’s second largest economy successfully transitioned from a conventional power grid into smart grid, which makes its easier for the country to efficiently and reliably transmit and distribute electricity to its consumers.

In an interview here, Edwin Natividad, Chief Audit Executive at NGCP Internal Audit Department, said that the Philippines is working non-stop with SGCC to eventually achieve a smart grid status.

“We’re slowly getting the technology from SGCC. For now, we are still in the pilot stage,” Natividad told Manila-based reporters.

At the start of this year, global smart grid solutions firm ABB announced that it has won orders worth approximately $27 million from NGCP to design, supply and commission 18 transformers.

ABB noted that an aging infrastructure coupled with a fast-growing population and an agenda of industrial and economic development are what driving the demand for reliable electric power in the Philippines.

To be exact, NGCP is executing a structured program to strengthen the aging power grid.

“We are pleased to partner with NGCP for this important upgrade that will strengthen the Philippines’ power grid, enhance efficiency and improve reliability of power supply to consumers. As part of ABB’s Next Level strategy, we are committed to support the development of power infrastructure in growing markets around the world,” Markus Heimbach, managing director at ABB’s Transformers Business Unit, earlier said.

The transformer units from ABB are to be installed in key substations across the country.

As of now, Natividad said that NGCP is taking advantage of SGCC’s expertise to adopt the best global practices in the Philippines.

NGCP’s smart grid initiatives include the modernization of its supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, the upgrade of substation equipment, and expansion and upgrade of transmission lines and facilities.

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