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Meralco eyes solar, wind projects

/ 05:22 AM October 31, 2018

Power distribution giant Manila Electric Co. wants to go into renewable energy through its electricity generation subsidiary, looking at building a portfolio of up to 1,000 megawatts of solar and wind resources over the medium term.

Rogelio L. Singson, president of Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), said in a briefing that the company was focused on the development of a portfolio of utility-scale solar generation projects to supply the Luzon grid—particularly Meralco’s franchise areas—“with low-cost electricity.”

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Wiki-Solar, a part of renewable energy consultancy WolfeWare Ltd., defines “utility-scale” as solar power plants with a capacity of at least 4 MW.

Singson said MGen also believed there was ongoing potential for competitive new wind-based power generation in Luzon.

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“The target we’re looking at is hopefully at least 500 MW to 1,000 MW of solar in the next two to three years,” he said.

“We are in discussions for a wind project with 150 MW of capacity,” he said, adding that this was a potential partnership on an existing wind project.

The former public works secretary said MGen was considering to undertake solar and wind projects that were either greenfield—to be built from scratch—or ones that were already being developed.

“We will start going through a screening process (to choose the projects),” Singson said. “It looks like most of the constraints are either limitations on transmission or limitations in terms of land availability and conversion, specially if they (lands) are covered by restrictions related to ancestral domains or agrarian reform.”

“We hope to sign off by the first quarter of next year our first project,” Singson said.

MGen is taking such a path amid opposition from various groups to some of the company’s pending projects, especially coal-fired power plants.

In particular, MGen has been awaiting regulators’ action on proposed power supply agreements (PSA) related to several projects.

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Of such projects, the most advanced along the development process is the 1,200-MW green project being pursued by Atimonan One Energy Inc.

Singson has reiterated that all permits and clearances for the Atimonan project have been secured and the plant was ready for construction, and all that was lacking was a regulator-approved PSA.

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TAGS: low-cost electricity, Manila Electric Co., Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), Rogelio L. Singson, Wiki-Solar
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