Business

Meralco Powergen eyes more solar plants

Meralco Powergen eyes more solar plants

MANILA, Philippines — Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen), the power generating arm of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), plans to develop more floating solar plants in Laguna Lake.

MGen is awaiting regulations from the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).

Through subsidiary MGEN Renewable Energy Inc. (MGreen), MGen formed Lagunasol Corp. as the corporate vehicle for its floating solar investments.

Incorporated in September last year, Lagunasol will engage in the construction and operation of a power plant and related facilities using solar energy.

It is currently securing lake lease rights for six strategic locations of 100-hectares within the Laguna Lake, based on a regulatory filing.

This is in line with MGen’s increasing focus on the development of renewable energy projects, with focus initially set on utility scale – 50 megawatts (MW) or larger solar projects.

MGen said it has numerous activities underway to secure its own prospective sites, while scouting for partners with established developers on their sites.

In 2019, MGreen acquired 70 percent of Nortesol III Inc., a local firm engaged in the development, construction and operation of power plant and related facilities using renewable energy system and hybrid energy system.

Nortesol, a subsidiary of SunAsia Energy, is developing a 110 megawatt floating solar facility in Laguna de Bay.

Meanwhile, MGen is nearing the commercial operations of the 50-MW solar farm in San Miguel, Bulacan under Powersource First Bulacan Solar Inc. (PFBSI). The project was targeted to start commercial operations within the first quarter.

“We are still waiting for Meralco to allow us to connect to the San Miguel substation which will need a 10-hour shutdown,” MGen president and CEO Rogelio Singson said in a text message.

Singson earlier said the PFBSI would undergo rebranding after MGreen bought out Singapore’s Sunseap International Pte. Ltd., effectively raising its stake from 40 percent to 60 percent.

“We will announce in proper time, the new brand of this solar project,” he said.

MGen is targeting a renewable portfolio of 1,000 to 1,200 MW in the next five to seven years. This will be done by developing large-scale solar, wind, and hydropower projects that will provide reliable, environment-friendly power at competitive prices without the need for subsidy.