The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a grant on November 17 to the Philippines’ Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company Inc. (CEPALCO) to support the utilization of smart grid technologies to manage, monitor and distribute electricity more efficiently.
“It is vital to ensure that energy resources are distributed and consumed as effectively as possible, and that requires innovative technology solutions,” said USTDA Director Leocadia Zak, who signed the agreement along with CEPALCO’s CEO, Ed Bautista.
“As smart grids are one of the most effective solutions for distributin g and consuming power, USTDA is pleased to support CEPALCO’s smart grid goals,” Zak added.
The grant is funding a feasibility study that will help CEPALCO develop a technical scope and implementation plan for an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) pilot project. The study will consider the preliminary analyses—including technical, economic and financial—needed to develop the pilot project.
The pilot project aims to install 2,000 smart meters and the supporting communications infrastructure in CEPALCO’s franchise area.
CEPALCO’s ultimate goal is to implement smart grid technologies that can optimize its distribution services, increase power reliability and reduce electricity losses.
The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-sponsored feasibility study will be competed through Federal Business Opportunities (FBO). A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested US firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement.
Supporting aviation emergency response
Meanwhile on November 16, the USTDA also signed a cooperation agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to launch a specialized training program for aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicles that CAAP procured from Oshkosh Corp.
The program builds upon USTDA’s ongoing cooperation with the Philippines in aviation security and environmental improvements.
“We are pleased to support this advanced training, which will give CAAP personnel the skills they need to be able to operate and maintain these state-of-the-art Oshkosh vehicles,” said Zak who signed the agreement alongside CAAP Director General Lt. Gen. William Hotchkiss III (ret.).
This program will support training for CAAP officials on vehicle manufacturing, maintenance and testing at Oshkosh’s facilities in and around Appleton, Wisconsin.
Oshkosh trainers will also travel to 27 airports across the Philippines, where they will train ARFF crew at each airport and inform firefighters on the operations and capabilities of Oshkosh vehicles. The training will enhance CAAP’s ability to respond to emergency situations.
USTDA and CAAP signed the agreement during the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, a forum that allows industry to collaborate with APEC economy leaders, ministers and high-level government officials.
This grant builds upon USTDA’s ongoing work with the CAAP to analyze the efficiency and environmental benefits of implementing Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) and Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) tools within Philippine airspace.
USTDA plans to share the resulting best practices with all APEC members at a technical workshop in 2016, which will support the broader region in reaching its aviation and energy efficiency goals, as well as its emissions reductions goals.