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Philippines - MERALCO Power Distribution Modernization Pilot Project

Solicitation Number: 2014-31005A
Agency: United States Trade and Development Agency
Office: USTDA
Location: USTDA
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Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Added: Feb 25, 2014 12:57 pm

MERALCO Power Distribution Modernization Pilot Project

USTDA Activity No.: 2014-31005A

Proposal Submission Place:
Joseph Allan C. Baltazar
Senior Assistant Vice President and Head Network Technology Strategy and Execution
3/F Technical Services Building
Meralco Center, Ortigas Avenue
Pasig City 0300 Philippines
Tel: +63 2 6312222 Ext. 6482
Fax: +63 2 6328538

The Grantee invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the "Proposal") from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to develop a feasibility study for a power distribution modernization pilot project and associated implementation plan for MERALCO in Manila, Philippines.


MERALCO requested a USTDA-funded feasibility to determine key components needed to complete a pilot project and advance MERALCO system-wide Smart Grid implementation efforts. MERALCO has allocated $10.5 million for the pilot project, targeting installation of smart metering equipment for 10,000 existing customers, to help manage peak demand and set incentives for various consumption levels based on detailed data collected by the smart meters. The pilot would also address demand response to reduce high energy costs, minimize power loss, and define procedures for system-wide implementation of smart grid technologies. The detailed customer information would help reduce non-payment for services rendered, while providing flexibility in billing and electricity consumption, and assisting in electricity generation optimization by incorporating renewable resources in the technology mix.

MERALCO is the largest distribution utility in the Philippines, covering a 3,605 square mile footprint, serving 25 percent of the population, and experiencing over seven percent growth in electricity sales and over three percent growth in customer base. MERALCO holds a 25-year congressional franchise license (June 28, 2003 - June 28, 2028) to construct, operate and maintain the electricity distribution system in 34 cities and 77 municipalities, generating 75 percent of Luzon's and 55 percent of the overall Philippines' electricity sales. MERALCO's distribution and sub-transmission network has a circuit length of approximately 1,060 miles, 115 substations, and 220 substation transformer banks. About 50 percent of Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 60 percent of manufacturing output is generated within MERALCO franchise area to serve residential, commercial, industrial and street-lighting customers.


The Feasibility Study will help MERALCO develop the technical specifications and associated implementation plan for a power distribution modernization pilot project, with key components including Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Demand Response (DR) programs, smart grid-focused Distribution Management Systems (DMS), and system interoperability standards. The pilot would address important system distribution issues related to demand response in order to reduce user demands, balance its grid, reduce high energy costs, develop and implement DR as a part of its DMS, settle contracts with participating customers, and upgrade and integrate control systems and communications infrastructure to DR operations. The Study would include a review of MERALCO's medium and long-term modernization objectives, preparation of pilot scope, cost estimate, and procurement documents and bid specifications, as well as assessment of environmental and development impact.

MERALCO notes the following with regard to the Feasibility Study:

• In the document, Embedded Generation, Renewable Generation, Microgrids and Distributed Energy Resources loosely refer to the same thing.
• As Demand Response will be utilized as a mechanism to reduce ultra-high Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) prices, the U.S. Firm will note:
o The Integrated Demand Response (DR) and Embedded Generation system will have the capability to participate in the Energy and Reserve markets of WESM.
o If applicable, the business case will include benefits from (a) reducing ultra-high WESM prices, (b) deferment of power generation, transmission & distribution facilities and c) Reduction of Ancillary & Congestion Cost.
• Demand Response will consider embedded generation and will employ the following:
o Interruption of load or control of thermostats of customers.
o Use of on-site generation (PV, Wind Turbine, Diesel, etc.)
o Use of on-site energy storage (Battery, Electric Vehicle, etc.)
• The inverters will have the necessary features to mitigate the negative power quality impact of renewable generation and to provide support to the distribution grid.
• The Integrated Demand Response and Embedded Generation system may be a separate system but linked to the DMS. Part of the required technical specifications includes the necessary capabilities of the Fault Location Isolation & Restoration (FLIR) and Volt-VAR Optimization (VVO) of DMS to consider Demand Response and Embedded Generation.

The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a $442,940 grant to the Grantee from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

A detailed Request for Proposals (RFP), which includes requirements for the Proposal, the Terms of Reference, and portions of a background desk study report are available from USTDA, at 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1600, Arlington, VA 22209-3901. To request the RFP in PDF format, please go to:

Requests for a mailed hardcopy version of the RFP may also be faxed to the IRC, USTDA at 703-875-4009. In the fax, please include your firm's name, contact person, address, and telephone number. Some firms have found that RFP materials sent by U.S. mail do not reach them in time for preparation of an adequate response. Firms that want USTDA to use an overnight delivery service should include the name of the delivery service and your firm's account number in the request for the RFP. Firms that want to send a courier to USTDA to retrieve the RFP should allow one hour after faxing the request to USTDA before scheduling a pick-up. Please note that no telephone requests for the RFP will be honored. Please check your internal fax verification receipt. Because of the large number of RFP requests, USTDA cannot respond to requests for fax verification. Requests for RFPs received before 4:00 PM will be mailed the same day. Requests received after 4:00 PM will be mailed the following day. Please check with your courier and/or mail room before calling USTDA.

Only U.S. firms and individuals may bid on this USTDA financed activity. Interested firms, their subcontractors and employees of all participants must qualify under USTDA's nationality requirements as of the due date for submission of qualifications and proposals and, if selected to carry out the USTDA-financed activity, must continue to meet such requirements throughout the duration of the USTDA-financed activity. All goods and services to be provided by the selected firm shall have their nationality, source and origin in the U.S. or host country. The U.S. firm may use subcontractors from the host country for up to 20 percent of the USTDA grant amount. Details of USTDA's nationality requirements and mandatory contract clauses are also included in the RFP.

Interested U.S. firms should submit their Proposal in English directly to the Grantee by 4:00PM, Friday, March 25, 2014 at the above address. Evaluation criteria for the Proposal are included in the RFP. Price will not be a factor in contractor selection, and therefore, cost proposals should NOT be submitted. The Grantee reserves the right to reject any and/or all Proposals. The Grantee also reserves the right to contract with the selected firm for subsequent work related to the project. The Grantee is not bound to pay for any costs associated with the preparation and submission of Proposals.

1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1600,
C/O US TDA 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1600
Arlington, Virginia 22209-3901
Jennifer Van Renterghem,
USTDA - 1000 Wilson Blvd. Suite 1600 Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: 703-875-4357
Fax: 703-875-4009