MGen eyes floating solar plant in Laguna
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The renewable energy unit of power generation arm Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen) plans to build a floating solar project in Laguna Lake.

MGen president and chief executive officer Rogelio Singson said the company, through subsidiary MGEN Renewable Energy Inc. (MGreen), is working on applying for a pilot floating solar project in Laguna Lake with a local partner.

He said one of the four project proponents made an offer to the company for the floating solar facility which would have a capacity of up to 110 megawatts (MW).

“We have not yet signed any agreement but I believe there are four entities that have been granted the right to develop the pilot project. We’re talking to one of them,” Singson said.

The proposed floating solar project is awaiting the go signal from the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to commence construction.

Currently, the LLDA is crafting policy for large-scale floating solar projects over the Laguna Lake.

In the meantime, MGen and its partner are looking to build a small-scale pilot project first which could be completed in 10 months once cleared by the government agency, Singson said.

“The industry is trying to help the LLDA. If they want, we can fund the study, prepare the policy that will not impact on the use of the Laguna Lake. In fact, it will help because the evaporation is lessened because the lake is covered,” Singson said.

Singson said a floating solar project is not as expensive as the land-based solar farm.

“You are able to get away from land conversion, and you’re only talking to one entity,” he said.

The floating solar project is part of MGreen’s pipeline of solar project developments to be financed by the P424 million funding from Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

Meralco is pouring in P424 million in MGen to finance its pipeline of solar project developments, which have a combined capacity of 210 MW and a total estimated project cost of P10.01 billion.

Singson had previously said these projects were in line with the company’s commitment to develop large-scale renewable energy projects that will provide reliable, environment-friendly power at competitive prices without the need for subsidy.

Meralco formed MGreen to pursue the development of 1,000 MW of green energy projects in the next five to seven years.

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