July 23, 2024

The Benguet Electric Cooperative took one more step ahead when its highly benchmarked Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada) became officially connected to the national command center launched by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) on July 4.

The command center, a NEA flagship project conceptualized by Administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda, has a national dashboard to closely monitor in real time the situation on the ground of electric cooperatives especially during calamities.

It also seeks to immediately address major electricity distribution concerns through data driven intervention mechanisms.

Almeda and Department of Energy Sec. Raphael Lotilla led officials and other stakeholders during the launch that saw an actual demonstration of the connectivity of the dashboard with the systems of three pilot electric cooperatives in their main offices – Beneco, Cebu III Electric Cooperative, Inc., and Misamis Oriental-1 Rural Electric Service Cooperative.

Lotilla congratulated Beneco General Manager Melchor Licoben following the explanation by NEA officials on how the command center will elevate to a significant level of innovation the way the country’s 121 ECs will be monitored.

Beneco’s engineers and the media witnessed the initial switch on connection from the Scada room of the cooperative’s office in South Drive, Baguio City. It was a virtual affair that saw the guests and visitors at NEA and the SCADA engineers in South Drive, Baguio City in close watch with each other.

Beneco, Cebeco II and Moresco 1 were chosen for the pilot launching of the project since they have existing Scada in place.

Almeda said 60 other electric cooperatives are expected to hook up with the dashboard before the year ends and hopefully, all coops will be on board by 2025.

The facility for the command center was erected at the ground floor of the NEA building in Quezon City.

“Rural electrification is not anymore limited to simply extending distribution lines to households, but now also includes establishing systems for resiliency and energy security,” Almeda said during the launch.

Among the 121 ECs in the country, Beneco was the first to have a Scada, which was installed in 2007. It was also the first to implement its own geographic information system in 1999.

The dashboard will rely heavily on the data provided both by the Scada and GIS in NEA’s bid to timely inspect, assess and respond to the situation quickly in cases of power outages due to operational issues or natural and man-made disasters.

Lotilla lauded the efforts of Beneco and the two other cooperatives to become technologically advanced by becoming smart grid distribution utilities.

He said through the command center, the electric cooperatives will be able to show the importance of their role as first level in the distribution sector.

“The ECs will be able to provide timely data and information for key government agencies, the second level, and all the way to the office of the president during state of emergencies like typhoons and calamities, he said.

“The 121 ECs are at the forefront in delivery of electricity. You have to interface effectively with your customers,” Lotilla said in his congratulatory speech to the NEA. – Press release