Meralco PowerGen sets ‘rebranding’ on Bulacan solar project

Published March 17, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Meralco PowerGen Corporation (MGen), the power generation investment arm of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will be pursuing a rebranding of its 50-megawatt PowerSource First Bulacan Solar Inc. (PFBS) project that is due on commercial stream this year.

“Our first solar project, this is the 50MWac solar in San Miguel (Bulacan), this is going to undergo rebranding,” MGen President and CEO Rogelio L. Singson said.

That rebranding step, he indicated, will come after the company has increased its stake in the project – an equity hike to 60-percent, after an acquisition deal that was firmed up January this year with Singapore firm-partner Sunseap.

“We’ll announce it (rebranding) at a proper time … the new brand for this solar project in San Miguel,” Singson stressed. At this time, the solar facility’s name is still primarily anchored on PowerSource, the original project developer which is a company led by businessman Aloysius Colayco.

The MGen chief executive indicated that the project is now advancing to completion, “and right now, all the PV (photovoltaic) panels are in place, what remains to be done is the wiring as well as the connection to the Meralco substation.”

Singson emphasized “the nearest substation of Meralco is about 4.3 kilometers – we were able to secure all the right-of-way and we were able to construct a total of 74 poles to make it (Bulacan solar project) ready for COD (commercial operations date) in this first quarter of 2021.”

The company chief executive added that at this stage “we’re just waiting for a Meralco interconnection to be done to the nearest Meralco substation which is also in San Miguel, Bulacan.”

The 50MW solar project is the first major renewable energy (RE) venture that the company has embarked on – and it is considered as the Meralco subsidiary’s crucial investment step toward its bigger target of 1,000MW to 1,2000MW RE portfolio in the next 5 to 7 years.

Onward, Singson noted that the development preferences will be across technologies – not just ground-mounted solar deployments, but also floating solar installations as well as wind and hydropower developments.

The company is still hoping for future thermal power plant developments also that may lean on clean coal and even liquefied natural gas (LNG) technologies, but all of these will depend on the next round of power supply agreement (PSA) opportunities that they can clinch, including with parent firm Meralco.

Singson said they will continually develop their targeted project site in Atimonan, Quezon – with prospects that they can eventually use it for project installation either for coal-fired or LNG-fed power generating facility.