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Meralco eyes bids for 500MW of RE capacity

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MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) on Monday said it has started seeking bids for 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy (RE) capacity to comply with a state requirement.

In a statement on Monday, the power distributor said the competitive selection process is pursuant to the Energy department’s policy on renewable portfolio standards.

It also “forms part of Meralco’s commitment to source an increasing portion of its supply requirements from RE sources,” it added.

The renewable portfolio standards mandate distribution utilities, generation companies and retail electricity suppliers to get a portion of their energy supply from eligible renewable energy sources.

In 2022, the Department of Energy raised the share requirement of on-grid power suppliers to 2.52% from 1%.

The 10-year power supply agreement resulting from the competitive selection process will cover Meralco’s 350-MW mid-merit requirement starting February 2025, which will increase by 150 MW a year later.

The government requires distribution utilities to choose the cheapest electricity supply via a competitive bid. Bidders have until June 7 to express interest.

A pre-bid conference will be held on June 17, while the deadline to submit bids was set for July 17.

“As part of its long-term sustainability strategy, Meralco has already contracted 1,880 MW of RE capacity from various suppliers, exceeding its initial target of 1,500 MW,” the company said.

Renewable energy is expected to account for 22% of Meralco’s supply portfolio by 2030.

Meralco has failed to secure bids for its 260-MW peak requirement in the absence of interest for the second round of the competitive selection process.

Based on the rules of the Energy Regulatory Commission, the company may engage in negotiated procurement after two failed bids, Meralco said.

Meralco negotiated with San Roque Hydropower, Inc., one of the bidders in the first round, for the supply.

But Meralco said San Roque Hydropower withdrew because “will not be able to generate the required portion of the target 260-MW peaking capacity due to El Niño.”

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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