Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said it will embrace revolutionary and disruptive changes, including renewable energy such as solar, to ensure that customers enjoy the latest benefits in relevant technology.
“In power generation, this means increasing renewable energy [solar, wind, run-of-river, hydro, biomass and battery storage as this continues to mature] and the latest highly-efficient and environmentally-responsive baseload and mid-merit coal and gas-fired power plants,” Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
Meralco applied for three power supply agreements with two solar developers with the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Meralco recently issued the price challenge to other developers to match the P2.9887-per-kilowatt-hour price offer of Pilipinas Newton Energy Corp. for a 50-megawatt solar power plant.
“We will know at end of this month if there is a price challenge. While there is initial agreement with Newton on price and terms, finalization of PSA will have to wait for completion of the price challenge process,” Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez said.
“An offer made by the price challenger should be under the same terms and conditions of the power supply agreement provided by Meralco, except for the financial proposal,” Meralco said earlier.
Pilipinas Newton’s offer is so far the lowest bid received by Meralco for solar supply. Its previous lowest offer was P2.9999 per kWh from Solar Philippines for 85 megawatts of solar capacity.
Pilipinas Newton proposed to start supplying Meralco on Dec, 31, 2018 or eight months after the issuance of ERC final approval, which ever comes first. The contract period covers 20 years from commercial operations.
Meralco president Oscar Reyes earlier challenged power suppliers to be more price competitive and efficient.
“So we’re challenging them [power generators] to try to have more cost efficient and competitive proposals. They in turn have to lean on their vendors and suppliers in order to bring the price down,” he said.
“We’re looking at renewables, but renewables that will be beneficial, not only in terms of environmental performance, but will be beneficial in terms of being within our blended generation. We don’t want to go into this and push our generation charge. They have to be able to support our drive to keep generation charge low,” Reyes said.
Meralco is the country’s biggest power distributor with over six million customers in its franchise area. It sources its power requirements from power supply agreements, independent power producers and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
Reyes earlier said Meralco was eyeing an additional 50 MW to 100 MW of solar capacity from power generators to boost its generation portfolio.
“We’ll see if it can still accommodate 50 MW to 100 MW more and then we will take a look at the impact on the grid on certain circuits. If there’s capacity to do more at the right price, that’s beneficial to our overall generation charge,” Reyes said.
Meralco signed up 185 MW of solar capacity from suppliers Solar Philippines and PowerSource First Bulacan Solar Inc.
Reyes said Meralco was also taking into consideration the intermittency of solar prior to signing new contracts as it could affect the stability of the grid and the generation charge of Meralco.
“We’re doing it in a way that we also want to ensure that penetration of solar in the system is something the distribution grid can absorb without adversely affecting the quality of power performance because of the intermittency of solar. We have to ensure it does not affect the grid or the circuits of the grid,” he said.
“We will take a look at the impact on the grid on certain circuits. If there’s capacity to do more at the right price, that’s beneficial to our overall generation charge,” he said.