CONSUMER and energy advocacy group Power for People Coalition (P4P) is hopeful that the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) would replace the terminated gas and coal power supply deals (PSAs) with renewable energy (RE) sources.
“Now is the opportune moment for them to bid out 1,800 MW [megawatts] of power to renewable energy generation companies if they choose to structure the PSAs this way. It will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, cost to consumers, and our greenhouse gas emissions. It will be a big win for everyone in the power sector,” said P4P Convener Gerry C. Arances.
Meralco said last week that its PSAs with Excellent Energy Resources Inc. (EERI) for 1,200-MW of gas-generated capacity due for delivery in December 2024 and the 600MW from Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. that had been scheduled for commercial operations date in May 2025 were terminated due to the non-issuance by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) of the final approvals of the PSAs within the respective long stop dates on September 17, 2021 and September 23, 2021.
The P4P said this development will allow Meralco to maximize RE sources to fill the void. With summer signaling red alerts and rotating blackout in the country as fossil-fuel-powered plants fail at a time of peak demand, Arances called for a reliable energy source.
“We need reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for our homes. The dominance of fossil fuels has prevented renewable energy companies from providing cheaper electricity to consumers. Now, Meralco can make a bold move and give renewable energy a head start. It is an opportunity we hope they will take, for the benefit of consumers,” said Arances.
Meralco officials earlier said the utility firm plans to rebid the same capacity to cover the same term. Meralco will first have to request the Department of Energy (DOE) “as soon as possible” to conduct another round of Competitive Selection Process (CSP).
Meralco must submit to the DOE the proposed terms of reference for the planned CSP.
Image credits: Nonie Reyes