Manila Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, has sought approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission to implement its proposed scaled-up micro-grid in Cagbalete island in Mauban, Quezon costing P219 million.
Meralco decided to implement a pilot project that promotes the use of hybrid micro-grids for the electrification of households located in remote islands and far-flung areas, such as Cagbalete. Meralco is scaling the project coverage to include residents of the entire island.
“There is an urgent need for a provisional authority to be issued to allow Meralco to immediately start the project, which is estimated to take around eight months,” the company said.
Meralco said the approval was necessary to meet the target project completion set on December and allow the residents of the island to enjoy reliable electricity.
“The necessary activities to implement the project, considering the magnitude, include procurement of materials, detailed engineering design, site development, lot acquisition and civil works, installation, testing and commissioning of diesel generators, battery storages and solar PV, among others things,” it said.
Meralco said it could not start any of the preparatory activities without the approval of the commission.
Meralco will use a hybrid generation system using solar panels, diesel generators, lithium battery storage and intelligent controller systems.
Meralco said it had already completed the generation plant and that the distribution network construction was ongoing.
However, while the power distributor is ready to commercially operate the pilot project, it is still waiting for the release of documentary requirements, such as the renewable energy service contract and certificate of endorsement to be issued by the Department of Energy.
Cagbalete island residents rely on households with access to electricity, through privately-owned diesel generator units or solar home systems, buying at a very high rate of as much as P55 per kilowatt-hour for seven hours of service a day.