Meralco group’s shift to clean energy comes with a hefty price tag

The Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) group’s push for sustainable power generation will cost P76 billion to be viable, according to Meralco Powergen president and chief executive Jaime T. Azurin.

Speaking at the ongoing 23rd Conference of the Electricity Power Supply Industry covering the Asia-Pacific Region, Azurin said the shift to clean energy needed the attention and full commitment of a company’s board, partly because of the huge capital investment needed.


“Understanding the intermittent nature of most renewable energy (RE) sources, geographical constraints, as well as technological limitations at this point in time, the use of RE sources to fulfill base load requirements remains challenging and comes with a premium price,” he said.

“For these reasons, our strategy is to transition to low-carbon energy in an orderly and affordable manner to serve our broader purpose while securing long-term profitability,” Azurin added.


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He said that a move to go clean meant keeping a company’s competitive advantage, especially with consumer preference continuing to shift toward more environment-friendly initiatives.

Besides, the government is adding momentum to the energy shift with policies like the renewable portfolio standards and green energy option program.

Both these policies enable power consumers to choose the source of their electricity, particularly from an RE source.

The Meralco group has announced a 10-year strategy to transition to cleaner energy by developing 1,500 megawatts of RE projects in seven years.

This started with the 55-MW BulacanSol project, owned by PowerSource First Bulacan Solar Inc., which started commercial operations last May.

Azurin said more solar projects were under way, including a 78-MW facility in Baras, Rizal. Others are expected to rise in Isabela province, Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Norte.

“We are also eyeing hydro, wind and solar/storage that can compete in mid-merit space,” he added. Mid-merit facilities augment supply provided by base load plants.

—Ronnel W. Domingo

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