PHOTO CAPTION: MORE Power president and chief operating officer Roel Castro enumerates the many developments still in the pipeline for the power distribution utility in its first five years of operation, including ensuring a safety loading capacity of all substations by 2024./iNews (Photos courtesy of MORE Power-Iloilo)
ILOILO CITY–Assured and convinced.
These may well describe how members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s Committee on Public Utilities felt after the November 10 meeting with MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MEPC) after no less than its president and chief operating officer Roel Z. Castro enumerated in detail how power distribution in Iloilo city would continue on its upward trajectory alongside expansion to neighboring towns in Iloilo Province.
The numbers speak for themselves.
Within its first two years of providing power to the metro, all but one of the six existing substations in Iloilo City are already below the 80% loading capacity, with half of them well below the 70% safety loading capacity set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Operating under the safe loading capacity are the 12.5 million volt-amps (MVA) Jaro Substation at 66% (from the previous 85% a year ago) and the 62.5MVA La Paz Substation at 63% (from the 60% in 2020). Meanwhile, operating with loads slightly above ERC parameters but still below 80% are the 20MVA City Proper Substation at 73% (from 2021’s 83%) and the 30MVA Molo Substation at 76% (from last year’s 93%). In fact, with the 51% loading capacity of the 12.5MVA Megaworld Mobile Substation, only the 30MVA Mandurriao Substation exceeds the 80% critical threshold at 81%, but still an improvement from the 91% it registered in 2020.
According to Castro, the substation loading and protection improvement blueprint—in conjunction with rehabilitation—is an ongoing project scheduled to be completed within the first five years of MORE’s operation in Iloilo City. Already, 21 old electromechanical relays have been replaced with digital ones, which offer a wider variety of protection settings and better power monitoring on top of being SCADA-ready.
SCADA, the acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, is a computer-based system for gathering and analyzing real-time data to monitor and control equipment that deals with critical and time-sensitive materials or events and allows for automation and optimal response to measured conditions while virtually eliminating human error. (Source: oleumtech.com)
In May this year, the Banuyao Switchyard was inaugurated, which, as Castro stated, is “a stepping stone towards a grid-connected MEPC”.
Meanwhile, on the drawing board are a new 30/36MVA Substation for Megaworld that is now in the bidding and awarding stage, the uprating of the City Proper Substation from its present 20MVA to 30/36MVA, which is now in the design and conceptualization phase, and the rehabilitation of the 25/30MVA Molo Substation vis-à-vis the deployment of a new 36MVA mobile substation by the first quarter of 2022.
With all these improvements on infrastructure and equipment, MORE Power expects all substations, including the mobile ones, to go well under the ERC-set safety loading capacity of 70%, with the 62.5MVA La Paz Substation at 49%, the 20MVA City Proper Substation at 65%, the 12.5MVA Jaro Substation at 39%, the 30MVA Mandurriao Substation at 41%, the 36MVA Molo Substation at 60%, the 36MVA Megaworld Substation at 56%, the 12.5MVA Mobile Substation at 49%, and the 36MVA Mobile Substation at 45%.
All these will be overseen from MORE’s state-of-the-art control room and financed in part by the generous P1.9 billion in capital expenditures initially allocated by MORE Power top honcho billionaire Enrique Razon to improve the reliability of power in Iloilo City in the first five years of the distribution utility’s operations. The ERC has already approved the P1.3-B CapEx plan submitted to them by MORE.
In light of these developments and improvements, Iloilo City Councilor Atty. Romel Duron, the public utility committee chair, trusts MORE Power to continue to grow to accommodate franchise expansion without short-changing its city consumers or compromising service here./iNews