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Solar Philippines offers Meralco lower rates than First NatGas

Solar Philippines offering a lower rate than First NatGas Power Corp. to supply nonstop electricity power supply to Meralco.

Jullie Anne Mendoza

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Meralco Solar Philippines vs First NatGas

The renewable energy company Solar Philippines is now offering a P2.99 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) electricity power rates to the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), challenging the Lopez-led First NatGas Power Corporation’s bid.

The Philippines’ leading solar energy provider has submitted an offer for round the clock power for P2.99 per kWh to Meralco which challenges the First NatGas’ price proposal from its 414-megawatt San Gabriel gas power plant in Batangas.

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This follows Meralco’s announcement of bidding in the competitive selection process (CSP) where no energy firm qualified to challenge the first proposal.

According to Solar Philippines, the suggested rate would allow mass consumers “to save over 30 percent” or around P75 billion annually versus Meralco’s average generation rate of P4.74 per kWh in the past three months.

“Meralco can save an average of 30 percent thanks to advances in solar and battery storage,” Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said. He added that mass consumers could save even more compared to gas-powered power plants.

“Re-bidding this requirement in line with Department of Energy (DOE)’s technology-neutral policy will encourage competition and ensure consumers can enjoy significant savings,” Leviste added.

With Solar Philippines’ offer, Meralco will select either to re-bid under the same terms or alter it to allow other energy companues to compete on the basis of costs.

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Solar Philippines recently installed the first MW-scale Solar-Battery Micro-Grid in the Philippines located in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro, to provide nonstop reliable renewable electricity for the entire town at a lower cost against the gas.

DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi issued a policy that power procurement should be “technology neutral” and will not favor any sole supplier.

The top official of Meralco will consider both offers from First NatGas Power Corp. and Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings Inc. for the supply of power to the nation’s largest power distribution utility company.

The Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said that both offers, although different, are attractive and beneficial to Meralco, which is branching out its energy source mix.

“Yes, of course,” MVP answered when asked should Meralco will consider both offers.

“In a way it’s different because natural gas is gas and solar is solar. It can’t be all coal; it can’t be all gas, so we’re trying to diversify fuel sources just in case, for example, if a typhoon hits a particular area then you won’t have solar power,” Manny Pangilinan said.

“So, you need to have other sources. It’s good for Meralco to diversify and so we also seen as not favoring any particular supplier of power,” he added.

First NatGas will source electricity from its 414-megawatt (MW) San Gabriel gas power plant, while Solar Philippines will utilize solar energy and battery storage.

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