MGen’s 50MW solar plant stars commercial operations

Published May 13, 2021, 2:44 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The 50-megawatt solar plant of Power Source First Bulacan Solar Inc. (FPBSI), a subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen) has kicked off its commercial operation boosting Meralco’s energy supply for the summer months.

The power facility, which has been rebranded as BulacanSol, is the first renewable energy completed investment of Meralco PowerGen subsidiary MGen Renewable Energy Inc. (MGreen), which owns 60-percent stake in PFBSI corporate vehicle. The balance of 40-percent is held by its partner PowerSource Energy Holdings Corporation which is led by businessman Aloysius B. Colayco.

The newly completed 50-megawatt BulacanSol solar farm facility of PFBSI that recently reached commercial operations.

According to MGreen, the Bulacan solar plant’s commercial stream phase had already been cleared by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Thursday, May 12,

As highlighted by Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, the newly commissioned P4.25 billion solar farm venture may be a “modest step into renewables but a significant one for Meralco.”

The capacity of the solar plant has been committed to form part of Meralco’s power supply portfolio via a 20-year power supply agreement. The facility’s construction started in December 2019, following the issuance of notice-to-proceed to engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor – Chinese firm SUMEC Complete Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd.

PFBSI Vice Chairman Ricardo G. Lazatin, who is also the president and CEO of Powersource, indicated that “not even the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns we experienced during the construction period hindered us from completing this renewable project.”

From that RE facility development starting point, Pangilinan noted that “we look forward to many more investments in renewables, particularly solar, as we attempt to achieve that balance in fuel sourcing, which will ultimately be biased towards renewables.”

Meralco President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa expounded that the company “would join the shift to renewable energy and it will adopt sustainable practices for the One Meralco Group.”

He stressed that the BulacanSol plant is the initial concretization of Meralco’s RE investment journey, but it will be just be “the first of several that One Meralco has lined up for investment and sourcing.”

MGreen previously planned for up to 1,500 megawatts of RE capacities in the immediate term, comprising of solar, wind as well as targeted hydropower installations.

PFBSI Chairman Rogelio L. Singson qualified that “as the first operational project of MGreen, BulacanSol is a very important milestone that drives us to aggressively pursue more projects that will help us achieve our target of building a renewable energy portfolio with a capacity of up to 1,500MW in the next 5-7 years.”

He added the company will “continue building more environmentally conscious projects as part of our commitment to a sustainable energy transition for the future generations.”

And in the project development platform blueprinted by the company, Singson pointed out that the forthcoming facilities will be built upon the company’s “commitment to help ensure energy security through clean, cost-competitive and sustainable power.”