Visayan Electric opens first digital substation

Visayan Electric Paknaan Substation

Aboitiz Power Corporation subsidiary Visayan Electric Company, Inc. announced that it energized the first fully digital substation within its franchise area, helping improve overall network reliability and protection.

The rehabilitation of Visayan Electric’s Pakna-an 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.

“We continue to provide reliable power and quality service to our customers, and we were determined to complete this project despite the challenges posed by [the pandemic]. Innovating our substations by making them fully digital is a big step toward further improving our network control and reliability,” Visayan Electric President and COO Raul Lucero said in a statement.

Visayan Electric spent Php102 million for the project, Php29 million went into the protection and control systems adopting the IEC 61850, an international transmission protocol standard for communication in medium- and high-voltage electric substations.

This standard provides enhanced interoperability and advanced communications capabilities in substation protection, coordination, control, monitoring, metering, and testing.

This milestone marks a step forward in AboitizPower’s digital transformation journey under its DigitaLeap program, wherein the digitalization of its assets is at the core of the company’s strategy. As one of the biggest energy firms in the country, AboitizPower seeks to ensure that all its facilities adopt the latest technologies to deliver maximum value in terms of availability and operating efficiency. 

“In the greater scheme of things, the goal here is really future-proofing our operations, enabling our people with digital dexterity and culture as well as providing our customers with a unique experience and value-added offerings in this digital age,” said Anton Mari Perdices, COO of AboitizPower’s Distribution Group.

AboitizPower owns 60% of Visayan Electric, while Vivant Corporation owns the remaining 40%. Visayan Electric, the country’s second-largest power distributor, serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga, and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu — Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.

AboitizPower recently reported a 70% increase in consolidated net income for the third quarter to Php5.6 billion from Php3.3 billion year-on-year.