By Roy Mabasa
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in partnership with Tokyo Electric Power Corporation (TEPCO) Power Grid, is piloting the rollout of smart grid technology to help the Philippines improve its ability in preventing power interruptions or blackouts.
Under the “Collaboration Program for Disseminating Japanese Technology for Electricity Distribution System and Management in the Philippines,” the proponents recently launched a four-day seminar at the National Electrification Administration (NEA) showcasing the advanced distribution system and products of TEPCO and its affiliate, TAKAOKA TOKO.
According to JICA, the said Japanese technologies can be adopted by Philippine electric cooperatives (ECs) to help improve their system reliability and resiliency to natural disasters.
Despite disturbances from extreme weather and natural disasters, Japan is known for its advanced and resilient electricity distribution system.
In 1975, for example, TAKAOKA TOKO has installed a transformer in the Philippines and the equipment remains in use until today.
The introduction of Japanese technologies would also form a basis where ECs could cope with the coming mass integration of renewable energy sources in the country.
Representatives from 92 electric cooperatives welcomed the technical assistance from JICA aimed to enhance the country’s energy resiliency and reliability.
“As development partner of the Philippines, we recognize the crucial role of supporting reliable energy supply to help grow Philippine investments and overcome the vulnerability of the country. JICA’s development cooperation activities will continue to share Japanese expertise to address challenges that affect Philippine global competitiveness and long-term growth,” said Tetsuya Yamada, JICA Senior Representative.
Data provided by NEA showed that for 2015, the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) among Philippine electric cooperatives is 13.71 times while the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) is 18 hours. Hence, the average EC customer annually experiences 13.71 power interruptions totaling 18 hours.
In Japan, on the other hand, TEPCO power grid’s SAIFI and SAIDI are 0.06 times and six minutes respectively.
“Power interruptions disrupt economic activity and cause damage to equipment and appliances,” JICA noted.
JICA said the Japanese technology will be piloted in Batangas II Electric Cooperative, Inc.