Visayan Electric energizes first digital substation

·2 min read

A YEAR delayed due to the pandemic, Visayan Electric Company Inc. (Visayan Electric) finally energized this quarter its first fully digital substation within its franchise area, helping improve overall network reliability and protection.

The rehabilitation of Visayan Electric’s Paknaan substation along the Cebu North Road in Mandaue City was supposed to be completed in 2020, but was pushed back due to challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As a sign of our commitment to providing reliable power and quality service to our customers, we were determined to complete this project. Digitalizing our substations is a big step toward further improving our mandate,” said Visayan Electric president and chief operating officer Raul C. Lucero.

Visayan Electric spent P102 million for this project, of which P29 million went into the protection and control systems adapting the IEC 61850, an international transmission protocol standard for communication in medium- and high-voltage electric substations.

“We look forward to rehabilitating our other substations in Lorega and Pardo (in Cebu City) in the coming years as well,” Lucero shared.

Important role

A substation plays an important role within a power distribution system, ensuring the safe delivery of electricity to homes and businesses. Digitalization boosts the efficiency, reliability and availability of power supply through real-time control and protection operations.

Wilheim Janssen Go, manager for substation and electrical equipment at Visayan Electric, explained that the Paknaan facility is equipped with a system that facilitates online monitoring and assessment, leading to the early detection of technical problems where swift action can then be taken.

“The end result is reducing, shortening, and even preventing power outages and their impact on the community,” he said.

Aside from these, having digital operations minimizes the need to physically check the status of the substation as well as manual labor when restoring power, which is vital especially during this period.

Visayan Electric, the second-largest electric utility in the country, is owned and managed by publicly listed Aboitiz Power Corp. and Vivant Corp. It serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga, and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu--Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.

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