The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is known as the country’s largest distribution utility with over a hundred years in service. Meralco has always been discovering means on how to improve not only its services and products to consumers but also new techniques and methods on enhancing the skills of its employees. Now visualize this, what if there is a state of the art facility wherein engineers can “work, play and train”? A facility that can really give you an actual feel of the concept or situation you are studying about.
Welcome the Power Tech.
Being one of the most enduring and dynamic enterprises in the Philippines, Meralco once again breaks new ground with the development of the Power Tech. Power Tech will be the country’s first innovation, Research and Development (R&D), and technical training facility that will feature the use of Smart Grid.
Gone are the days that the trainings will just be relying on audio visual presentations because Power Tech will act as a simulator. Meralco’s engineers will now have the chance to not only see the lesson but to actually have an “actual feel” of it. This will also serve as a vehicle for bridging the gap between the existing and the evolving technologies.
“The Grid Enterprise will allow you to immerse on emerging technologies under simulated network even before we apply these to the entire system”. He also added, “The Grid Inspiration will ignite the imagination and expand one’s perspective with insights from industry experts and luminaries.” said Ronnie L. Aperocho, Meralco’s Vice President and Head of Networks.
The primary objectives of Power Tech are identified into three groups. First, to serve as a facility that will rapidly accelerate competency upgrade of both Meralco engineers and other industry players. Second, to provide a test-bed for Smart Grid and as a testing area for new equipment and devices wherein different suppliers can partake. Lastly, to drive innovation and R & D in the Philippine power industry through partnerships with the academe and other power utilities.
As Meralco President and CEO Oscar Reyes said, “In Meralco, we believe that a true center of excellence is ultimately defined by the interplay of best in class hardware, software and most important, highly competent and innovative professionals.”
The Power Tech is set to be fully operational early 2017. This will be a 2-storey, green architecture structure which will be occupying a total floor area of 3,139 sqm in Meralco, Ortigas. Power Tech will be powered by renewable energy sources (solar and wind) and will also be utilizing natural lighting and ventilation. This will also feature different state-of-the art facilities such as the following: The Grid Adventure, Endeavor, Pathfinder and Resolution (Training Labs); the Grid Enterprise (Test Area), the Grid Discovery (Innovation Center» and the Grid Inspiration (Auditorium).
One good thing with the development of Power Tech is that it will strengthen the backbone of knowledge initiatives of Meralco’s engineers. It will be an incubator for agile and globally competent technical professionals who are capable of supporting advancements in the power and energy ecosystem. Speaking of good things, there are also other benefits of Power Tech to the Academe world, its suppliers and the different power utilities. In the Academe world, Power Tech will be the partner of different schools, universities and other centers of excellence in ensuring the development of globally competitive professionals in the power industry, with the University of the Philippines-College of Engineering as one of its primary partners.
As for the suppliers, Power Tech will serve as a test-bed for Smart Grid and developing technologies. Also, it will serve as an avenue wherein new equipment and devices will be tested. When it comes to power utilities, Power Tech targets to uphold close relations, synergy and continuous interactions with the existing local and international utilities. These utilities are those whose goals regarding the form of training and education initiatives are the same. Power Tech is a facility with a vision. This is a place where our engineers can further hone their skills. A facility where they can unleash their potential. Meralco is working hard to make this vision a reality so as to be part of the solution —— because it is always a privilege to be able to contribute to the development and advancement of the power and energy ecosystem.