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USTDA Promotes Smart Grid Implementation in Manila

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

(USTDA)  Clean Energy Pilot Project Builds on USACEP Cooperation

MANILA, PHILIPPINES Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant to the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO), the largest power distribution utility in the Philippines, to modernize its distribution systems and develop a smart grid design. The feasibility study will include a pilot project for a demand response system, allowing MERALCO to balance the grid by integrating control systems and communications infrastructure into its network. These upgrades will ultimately reduce energy losses and manage system peak demand, while optimizing MERALCO's sub-transmission and distribution network in and around Metro Manila, which serves 5.2 million customers.

"USTDA is pleased to support the development of clean energy projects with our partners at MERALCO as they continue to improve their electric system for their growing customer base," said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak. "As the Philippine economy continues to expand, this agreement will lay the foundation for advanced smart grid technology, improved infrastructure in MERALCO's large service territory, and greater access to reliable and affordable electric power. We believe it will enhance cooperation between U.S. industry, MERALCO and the Philippines, and help open new areas of business for specialized U.S. smart grid companies."

Mr. Ricardo V. Buencamino, MERALCO's Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, noted, "The USTDA grant is very timely, as a demand response system will allow us to actively manage our system demand, especially during periods of tight supply conditions similar to what we have experienced very recently."

This project demonstrates USTDA's commitment to the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Energy Partnership (USACEP), which President Obama launched during the 2012 East Asia Summit. USACEP supports greater U.S. business engagement in Asia's clean energy development by stimulating infrastructure and grid improvements. The opportunity for U.S. firms to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study for MERALCO will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website.