MERALCO switches on Bulacan solar farm

MERALCO Bulacan Solar

PowerSource First Bulacan Solar, Inc. (PFBSI), a 60-40 joint venture between MGen Renewable Energy, Inc. (MGreen) and PowerSource Energy Holdings Corporation has officially started commercial operations of its 50-megawatt solar power plant in San Miguel, Bulacan, providing clean energy to the Luzon Grid.

Now called BulacanSol, the newly completed Php4.25 billion solar farm secured a clearance to operate from the Energy Regulatory Commission on Wednesday.

MGreen is the renewable energy unit of MERALCO PowerGen Corporation (MGen), which in turn is the power generation arm of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) — the country’s largest power distributor.

Construction activities for the plant started in December 2019 following the issuance of notice-to-proceed to SUMEC Complete Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd., the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the project.

Back in February, BulacanSol reached 1.5 million safe man-hours without lost time incident, reflecting the company’s commitment to safety and security in all its activities. MERALCO said this was achieved considering hurdles encountered including delays brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and a string of weather disturbances that limited movements at the power plant site.

“This is a modest step into renewables but a significant one for MERALCO. We look forward to many more investments in renewables, particularly solar, as we attempt to achieve that balance in fuel sourcing, which will ultimately be biased towards renewables,” MERALCO Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan said in a statement.

“In June 2019, MERALCO made the first announcement that it would join the shift to renewable energy and it will adopt sustainable practices for the One MERALCO Group. And today, we realize the very first renewable power plant – the first of several that One Meralco has lined up for investment and sourcing,” MERALCO President and CEO Atty. Ray Espinosa added.

PFBSI Chairman Rogelio Singson said that BulacanSol signifies the commitment of MERALCO and PowerSource Group to help ensure energy security through clean, cost-competitive, and sustainable power.

“As the first operational project of MGreen, BulacanSol is a very important milestone that drives us to aggressively pursue more projects that will help us achieve our target of building a renewable energy portfolio with a capacity of up to 1,500MW in the next five to seven years,” said Singson, who is also MGen’s President and CEO.

MGreen is also eyeing to develop six floating solar plants amounting to 100 hectares within the Laguna De Bay. Two of these were endorsed by the Department of Energy to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for system impact study back in the first quarter.