100% electrification eyed by next year

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    The country’s largest power distributor has intensified its electrification programs since the second quarter of the year to attain 100 percent electrification of its franchise area by next year.

    Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) said the focus now is to provide distribution and connection service to underserved and unserved customers in Metro Manila and Batangas.

    “We have this number of sites being identified to be energized within the year and this covers 118 sites, serving close to 16,000 households. These sites used to be problematic sites before in terms of extending our facilities because of many issues like right-of-way (ROW), local government unit problems, permitting issues,” said Ronnie Aperocho, Meralco senior vice president and head of networks.

    As of October 4, 2019, the 118 sites up for electrification are scattered in Metro Manila with 41 in the north side, 35 in the south, five in the central side and 37 in Batangas which will cost the company a total of over P267 million.

    Of those numbers, 19 are already energized, 28 are ongoing construction, 70 are being resolved for ROW while one is for evaluation.

    Efforts of the company earlier this year to increase energization level in its franchise area includes the inauguration of power microgrid projects in Cagbalete Island, Quezon and in Isla Verde, Batangas which involve the use of a hybrid power system via solar, battery energy storage and diesel generator facilities.

    As of third quarter 2019, Meralco’s customer count grew 4.2 percent to 6.82 million from last year’s 6.54 million.

    Residential customers representing 92.1 percent of the pool improved by 4.3 percent, commercial with 7.7 percent share went up by 2.8 percent and industrial customers contributing 0.2 percent rose by 2.1 percent.