Meralco seeking challengers to Solar PH’s 200MW offer

Published August 17, 2022, 4:15 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has formally opened to challengers the competitive 200-megawatt original proposal of the subsidiary-entity of Solar Philippines from its integrated solar farm and battery energy storage installation.

In a notice to third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC), Meralco apprised prospective bidders that the power supply agreement (PSA) for this competitive selection process (CSP) will be for a duration of 20 years and delivery of power supply in 2024.

“Interested challengers have until August 31 to submit their expressions of interest. The pre-bid conference is scheduled on September 1, while the bid submission deadline is set on October 5,” the power utility firm announced.

The unsolicited bid lodged by Solar Philippines Batangas Baseload Corporation (SPBBC) had been anchored on a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and headline rate of P4.65 per kilowatt hour (kWh) and it will be for a capacity factor of 100-percent with a round-the-clock electricity supply to Meralco.

Based on its targeted frame of development, SPBBC supply baseload power would come from its 1,800 megawatts (MW) of solar farm plus 1,800-megawatt hour (MWh) of battery storage to be sited in the provinces of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna. The SPBBC offer also said that it may need to procure back-up power from other plants to be able to guarantee continuous electricity supply to Meralco.

The terms of reference (TOR) of the CSP, according to Meralco, stipulates that “offers, which should cover the full contract capacity, may be sourced from a single or portfolio of power plants with commercial operations not earlier than February 2019 but not later than March 2024.”

In a related development, Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation (SPNEC) indicated that it is “allocating proceeds from its various capital raises to complete securing at least 2,500 hectares in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Bulacan for a planned 3.5 GW (gigawatt) solar farm.”

The Leviste-founded company conveyed “this would mark SPNEC’s expansion of operations in the same area of the land secured for its 500MW solar project, for which the first 50MW and the transmission for the full 500MW are under construction.”

Solar Philippines said it has been consolidating land and permits for the 4,000MW solar farm developments that it has been targeting within the Bulacan-Nueva Ecija domains.

“This clustering of projects in the same area also supports the development of transmission, which would extend over 60 kilometers to connect to NGCP’s (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) substations that supply the Greater Manila Area,” the company stressed.

Leandro Leviste, founder of Solar Philippines, noted “by the end of this year, our planned share issuances should result in the consolidation of ingredients that would enable SPNEC to expand its flagship project to be the world’s largest solar farm.”

As planned, the share issuances would cover the company’s stock rights offering (SRO), which will have its offer period on August 30, as well as targeted private placements currently being discussed with investors.