Bulacan LGU OKs MGEN’s solar project

The local government of Bulacan has approved the P4.25 billion solar power project of the Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen).

“We have been given partial authority to restart work there because we wanted to do advance works on the drainage of the site so that when the rains come, we will just be ready to mount the panels,” MGen President Rogelio Singson was quoted in a report.

PowerSource First Bulacan Solar Inc. (PFBSI) is the project proponent, which is 40 percent owned by MGen Renewable Energy Inc. (MGreen), 36 percent held by PowerSource Global Holdings Corporation and 24 percent by Singapore’s Sunseap International Pte. Ltd.

In February, Singson said the project was delayed due to the postponement of delivery of the PV panels from China brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“Unfortunately, there are two projects that we are supposed to be already on COD [commercial operation date] this year. First is the one in Bulacan with Power Source. Unfortunately, because of the lockdown and because our EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] contractor here is from China, the delivery of solar panels have been delayed,” said Singson.

The Tarlac project also experienced delay in the delivery of solar panels.

MGen is still eyeing to achieve its target of a renewable energy portfolio of 1,000 MW over the next five to seven years which includes solar, wind, and hydro.

MGreen acquired an equity funding of P424 million from Meralco, which will be invested in different solar projects.

The power to be produced from PEBSI will be sold to Meralco through an approved 20-year power supply agreement (PSA) for P4.69 per kilowatt hour (kWh), subject to a 2-percent annual escalation.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has said that the rate is “reasonable” as the PSA went through the competitive selection process (CSP).

ERC said the rate of P4.69 per kWh is “still significantly lower than the prevailing feed-in-tariff [FiT] rate and most of the approved rates for solar power plants,” even with the application of the 2-percent annual escalation.

This will increase to P5.7516 per kWh in the 20th year, which is still lower than the prevailing Feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of P8.69 per kWh for solar.

The ERC added that the 20-year term of the PSA will not be extended.