Over 20 solar firms offer output to Meralco

By Alena Mae S. Flores – November 27, 2017 at 08:40 pm
from manilastandard.net

Manila Electric Co. said it received offers from over 20 solar power developers to supply the power retailer with renewable energy.

“We’re looking at renewables, but renewables that will be beneficial, not only in terms of environmental performance, but will be beneficial in terms of being within our blended generation. We don’t want to go into this and push our generation charge. They have to be able to support our drive to keep generation charge low,” Meralco president Oscar Reyes said.

Meralco is the country’s biggest power distributor with over six million customers in its franchise area. It sources its power requirements from power supply agreements, independent power producers and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

“There are many interested. I think we’ve received 20 proposals, or more than, since over the last, shall we say, 18 months.  The price points are different,” Reyes said.

Reyes challenged the power suppliers to be more price competitive and efficient. Meralco recently received and accepted the P2.99 per kilowatt-hour offer of Solar Philippines for 85 megawatts of capacity.

“So we’re challenging them [power generators] to try to have more cost efficient and competitive proposals. They in turn have to lean on their vendors and suppliers in order to bring the price down,” he said.

Reyes earlier announced that Meralco was eyeing an additional 50 MW to 100 MW of solar capacity from power generators to boost its generation portfolio.

“We’ll see if it can still accommodate 50 MW to 100 MW more and then we will take a look at the impact on the grid on certain circuits, if there’s capacity to do more at the right price that’s beneficial to our overall generation charge,”  Reyes said.

Meralco so far signed up 185 MW of solar capacity from two suppliers includoing Solar Philippines and PowerSource First Bulacan Solar Inc.

The three power supply agreements for the said capacities are still pending with the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“We’re looking at additional solar power that’s been offered to us for power supply agreements,” Reyes said.  He did not name the interested parties.

“We’re in discussions with several parties, maybe in the next three to six months…There are a lot of offers. I think we’ve received more than 10,” the official said.

Reyes said Meralco also considered the intermittency of solar prior to signing new contracts as it could affect the stability of the grid and the generation charge of Meralco.

“We’re doing it in a way that we also want to ensure that penetration of solar in the system is something the distribution grid can absorb without adversely affecting the quality of power performance because of the intermittency of solar.  We have to ensure it does not affect the grid or the circuits of the grid,” he said.

“We will take a look at the impact on the grid on certain circuits, if there’s capacity to do more at the right price that’s beneficial to our overall generation charge,” he said.

Reyes urged ERC to approve the supply contracts as the hearings on the first two power supply agreements were already completed.