By Myrna M. Velasco
MGEN Renewable Energy (MGreen), the renewable energy (RE) investment arm of Manila Electric Company (Meralco), along with partner-investors inked an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Chinese firm SUMEC Complete Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd. for its 50-megawatt AC (alternating current) solar power project in Bulacan province.
The solar power installation will be sited in San Miguel, Bulacan and this will command total investments of ₱4.25 billion. It is a venture under corporate vehicle PowerSource First Bulacan Solar, Inc. (PFBSI) of which development had been jumpstarted by the PowerSource Group chaired by businessman Aloysius B. Colayco.
MGreen, a subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corporation, eventually cornered the majority equity in the project with 40 percent shareholdings; 36 percent is still held by PowerSource Global Holdings Corporation; and the remaining 24 percent by Singaporean firm Sunseap International Pte. Ltd.
The Bulacan solar project was initially under Spectrum, another subsidiary of Meralco, but was later transferred to MGreen, being the affiliate tasked to take on big-ticket RE projects.
The Bulacan solar project has a 20-year power supply agreement (PSA) with Meralco that had been approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission in February this year for an applicable rate of ₱4.69 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and with provision for 2.0 percent escalation annually.
MGen President and CEO Rogelio L. Singson has described the company’s investment foray into the RE space as one that resembles “lego type” or interlocking blocks of developments – meaning, they could be installed in series of smaller capacities until they reach the targeted 1,000MW portfolio.
“We are committed to undertake 1,000MW of renewable energy projects in the next five to seven years,” Singson stressed; while emphasizing that the Bulacan solar project serves as the start of “the lego pieces that will make a thousand.”
Prior to this EPC signing, the Meralco firm previously announced plans of 210MW solar farm developments that will be spread across Luzon grid – including in domains covered by the franchise area of the utility firm.
Beyond that, the company is also setting its sights on a 110MW floating solar installation at the Laguna Lake, one of the RE technology solutions that the government has been strongly advancing to ramp up capacity in the country’s major power grid.
“MGreen plans to develop large scale solar, wind and hydropower projects that will provide reliable, environment-friendly power at competitive prices without the need for subsidy,” the Meralco company stressed.