Meralco to build 20-MW solar sites

by Alena Mae S. Flores – June 01, 2016 at 11:35 pm

from Manila Standard Today

Power distributor Manila Electric Co.  said Wednesday unit MSpectrum will pursue renewable energy projects with an initial 20 megawatts of solar capacity by early next year.

Meralco senior vice president and head of customer retail services and corporate communications Al Panlilio said MSpectrum was looking at solar rooftop and utility solar installations.

“We do have a pipeline of accounts that we are looking at. We are looking at for the first year of operations, maybe this year up to next year of about 20 MW as a target,” Panlilio said.

He said MSpectrum was looking at tapping commercial and industrial accounts while “residential would be more of opportunistic in terms of engagements.”

“We are serious in getting into renewable and we know that this is something that will be a different business model for Meralco,” he said

Meralco president and chief executive Oscar Reyes said the company was ready to serve the needs of customers.

“So if the consumer would like to be dealt with serving them the needs for renewable sources of energy…I think that is the future and it’s also a matter of consumer affordability. In the end, consumers will also have to decide how much they are prepared to pay for their energy,” he said.

Reyes said Meralco was looking for renewable energy technologies with costs at the same level as others in the grid, “so that there’s no sort of burden or subsidy that consumers will have to pay.”

Reyes said aside from solar, Meralco through Meralco PowerGen was also looking at opportunities in power generation for wind, biomass and hydro.

“So we are actually going into that direction now because we have sort of laid out all our baseload requirements well into the next few years,” he said.

Meralco’s power generation arm Meralco PowerGen is building thousands of megawatts of coal-fired power plants.

“So what we are looking now is how do we serve our mid merit and peaking requirements and I think that solar being intermittent will really play a role together with battery storage,” Reyes said.

Reyes said the company was also on the lookout for partnership for most renewable energy projects.

“Our approach will continue to be partnerships because we would like to do these ventures together with established and credible partners. MSpectrum is more for solar, the other renewables will be in MGen [especially] large scale renewables,” he said.

Meralco PowerGen is developing three major coal-fired power plants, including the 1,200-MW Atimonan coal plant in Quezon, the 455-MW Mauban coal project also in Quezon and RP Energy’s 300-MW to 600-MW coal plant in Subic.

Meralco PowerGen also owns a 22-percent stake in Global Business Power Corp. that is also building a coal plant in the Visayas.