Veco completes P140-M upgrade of substation to be more ‘flexible’

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


POWER distribution utility Visayan Electric Company (Veco) yesterday inaugurated its Don Gil Garcia (DGG) Switching Station and Substation (formerly called Ermita), located near the Carbon market.

Valentin Saludes III, Veco vice president for the engineering group, said the company invested about P140 million for the renovation and upgrade of the facility, which took two years to complete.

Saludes said the new substation would serve as the hub of Veco's 69 kilovolt (KV) line, which will allow them to be “more flexible and reliable in giving power.”

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“With DGG, Veco would now be more flexible in terms of switching stations in case of power failures within Veco's franchise area,” said Saludes.

He said all power sources of Veco will also be terminated at the new substation.

Century

The renovation and upgrade of the old Ermita Substation started in October 2012.

Considered as Veco's oldest substation, it provided electricity for nearly a century to Cebu City's old commercial districts, including Carbon, Magallanes, Pasil and Colon in the downtown area and N. Bacalso Ave. up to Basak, Pardo.

The upgraded facility was named after Don Gil Garcia who was Veco president for nearly 50 years.

At the height of the super typhoon Yolanda, Saludes said the new substation played a significant role in ensuring power supply.

He said Cebu would have suffered a shortage of more than 100 megawatts (MW), which would mean rotational brownouts for three hours, if it wasn't for the facility. “With this, we were able to save up to 60 MW,” he added.

Costs

Veco said the new system is meant to reduce operating and maintenance costs.

The new substation features state-of-the-art-equipment, such as fully automated switchboards, power transformers and circuit breakers, also called the condition-based monitoring. Veco said these features can be remotely monitored through the control and monitoring center of the company.

Veco's current peak demand is at 375 MW from 430 MW.

Theresa Gonzales, Veco's corporate communication manager, said the company will start its energy conservation campaign next month in anticipation of a hotter summer.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 29, 2014.

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