Meralco eyeing 100MW in rooftop solar projects

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MAJOR power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is considering installing at least 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power within three years.

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Meralco president Oscar Reyes said the plan is still being studied as part of the company’s venture into renewable energy (RE).

“We still don’t have a firm target, but maybe over three years, the aspiration is 100 MW,” said Reyes.

Under the plan, Reyes said the solar power projects would be installed in Meralco’s franchise areas only.

“Initially, within our franchise area,” he said, noting it could initially be just rooftop facilities.

Reyes said Meralco would consider tapping bigger commercial and industrial customers if rooftop solar works.

Al Panlilio, Meralco senior vice president for customer retail services and corporate communications, said earlier Meralco is interested in partnering with local and global players for the solar venture.

“Given the global developments on RE and especially solar, Meralco is itself interested in exploring partnerships with local and global players,” Panlilio said.

Panlilio added that the company would concentrate more on solar energy, considering the sector’s huge growth potential.

“We think the RE space will grow, and we want to be part of that growth,” he said.

Panlilio said Meralco would ensure the safe and reliable operation of the planned solar distribution grid.

Meantime, Reyes clarified that Meralco would have a separate unit other than its subsidiary Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen) to spearhead its foray into RE.

MGen is building various power projects fueled by coal and natural gas.

Reyes said Meralco’s plan to create a separate RE unit called MSpectrum is now on the development stage.

“We want to be also in renewables, which are going to increase its role,” he said.

In July, Meralco revealed its plans to venture into RE to expand its power generation portfolio.

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