MGen shifts focus to hiking renewable energy capacity
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The power generating arm of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will focus on developing its renewable energy (RE) capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW) in the next three to five years as it looks to disrupt its own legacy distribution business, its top official said.

Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen) was mandated to actively pursue renewables, solar and wind technology, its president and chief executive officer Rogelio Singson said.

“We will be developing our capability to do more renewables.  We’re looking at 1,500 MW in three to five years,” Singson said.

While MGen is looking at all technology options, bulk of the 1,500 MW will be solar while a few will be wind projects, Singson said.

The MGen board will be clearing some RE investments in December, which can pave way for its first green power project next year.

“We’re clearing some of these in our board this December. By next year, we will be a solar player already,” Singson said.

Solar generation will form an important part of the energy mix going forward and will be a competitive source of generation without any requirement for subsidy, he added.

MGen has ongoing discussions with a number of existing project developers for potential partnerships while it is also looking to develop its own portfolio of potential sites for large scale solar projects in Luzon.

For wind, the Meralco unit is also in talks with a wind developer for two wind projects. “I cannot disclose since we have a non-disclosure agreement with them,” Singson said.

MGen earlier said it was working with a partner on the development of a 150-MW wind generation project within the Meralco franchise area.

Moreover, it cited potential for competitive new wind based generation in Luzon.

The renewable energy target will balance off its coal-fired power plants in the pipeline.

MGen is also co-developing with Thailand’s Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. (EGCO) a 455 MW supercritical coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon under San Buenaventura Power Limited Co. (SBPL), targeted for completion in the third quarter of 2019.

It is also working on a 2x300-MW circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant in Subic, Zambales under  Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy), a consortium composed of MGen, Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration International Corp.

However, this project has not yet started construction because its power supply agreement (PSA) is pending, which resulted in the expiry of its engineering, procurement and construction contract.

The Meralco unit is also working solely on the 2x600-MW ultra supercritical coal-fired power plant in Atimonan, Quezon, with the first unit expected to be completed by 2021. Its PSA is also pending.

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