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Gracing the groundbreaking ceremony are Meralco officers, led by Chairman Manny Pangilinan (in photo, 4th from right) and President Oscar Reyes (4th from left); FVP and Head of Networks Ronnie Aperocho (3rd from right); and SVP and Head of HR and Corporate Services Ramon Segismundo (second from left). Together with them are officials from the government, academe and private partners: (front row, L-R) Landis+Gyr Vice President Abraham Ortega, Meralco’s Segismundo, Miescor President Angelito Bermudo, Meralco’s Reyes, ERC Commissioner Geronimo Sta. Ana, Department of Science & Technology Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevera, Department of Energy Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella, Meralco’s Pangilinan, Meralco’s Aperocho, Siemens Philippines President & CEO Joseph Jorel Nuyda and IBM Philippines President Luisito Pineda.

Meralco recently held the ceremonial groundbreaking for Power Tech – the Philippines’ first innovation, research and development (R&D), and technical training facility featuring the smart grid set-up. Located within Meralco Center, this 2-storey structure will incorporate green architecture and will operate on solar and wind energy, and will utilize natural lighting and ventilation.

This project three objectives: 1) to serve as a facility that will rapidly accelerate competency upgrade of both Meralco engineers and other industry players; 2) to provide a test-bed for Smart Grid and as a testing area for new equipment and devices; and, 3) to drive innovation and R&D in the Philippine power industry through partnerships with the academe, and private and government sector.

In his remarks during the groundbreaking ceremony, Meralco Chairman Manny Pangilinan highlighted Power Tech’s vision, “This is indeed Meralco’s expression of commitment to innovation & technology. This gives us not only a laboratory, but a living, practical experience for engineers, to see what technology can do in respect to the power industry.”

Power Tech is also posed to become a collaboration hub, with institutions from government, private and the academe coming together to bring the ambitious project to life.

According to Ramon Segismundo, Meralco SVP and Head of Human Resources & Corporate Services, “We envision Power Tech to be a melting pot of creativity and innovation, of exploration and discovery. All these can only be possible if there is a free flow of ideas among different individuals from various fields and expertise who can also provide new perspectives. So, it is critical to inculcate a spirit of inclusiveness and foster a shared sense of ownership by the industry and its major players.”