More customers of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), particularly from the residential segment, are adopting renewable energy (RE).
“To date, we have 8,544 NM [net metering] customers with 50.3 MWp [megawatt peak] installed capacity, and year-on-year NM numbers and capacity are increasing rapidly,” said Meralco Chief Commercial Officer and First Vice President Ferdinand Geluz during the second day of the three-day Giga Summit organized by the Meralco Power Academy.
Of the NM customers, 96 percent or around 8,200 are residential while the rest are commercial and industrial customers.
Under the NM program, electricity end-users with RE installations not exceeding 100 kilowatt can sell electricity generated in excess of what they consume to their distribution utility.
“Our Net Metering allows our customers to install an RE facility within their premises, with a capacity of up to 100kW, and get credits from the excess electricity that they export back to Meralco,” said Geluz.
For the whole of 2022, Geluz said Meralco NM customers exported 20.3 gigawatt hours (GWh). As of July this year, 16.2 GWh in energy export had been generated.
Geluz said there are 50 Meralco NM zero-export customers, or those who use the electricity generated by their RE facility for their own consumption, in its franchise area with 26.5 MW of installed capacity.
“For Zero-Export…Meralco ensures that there is no inadvertent energy exported through its lines to safeguard its crew as well as other electrical customers.”
Meralco also started offering Distributed Energy Resources (DER) solutions to its more than 7 million customers in compliance with Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) rules.
Renewable DER for consumption and export is available for RE installations greater than 100 kilowatt peak up to 1MWp, provided that the maximum capacity to export will not exceed 30 percent of the DER.
DER non-exporting, meanwhile, is for installations which can be of any technology, capacity, and grid location where the DER owner is not the end-user.
“Currently, we have 3 customers for DER non-exporting. To help our customers achieve net zero energy status, wherein the building or premise is able to balance its energy needs with energy produced from renewable, zero-emission sources, we have a subsidiary, MSpectrum, that provides solar PV installation services,” said Geluz.
Meralco, he said, recognizes its responsibility in the country’s transition towards cleaner energy.
“As we learn from global best practices, we also believe that as one country, we can learn from each other and share insights on our own journeys as we collectively strive to deliver energy for all, always.”
He said the utility firm continues to empower its customers with knowledge, tools and solutions to establish “sustainable habits.”
“Through our own version of the Time of Use program which we named Peak Off Peak [POP], we encourage businesses who are able, to shift operations to off peak hours. This resulted in significant operational savings on electricity that have allowed some companies to thrive and afforded others to expand.”
Currently, Meralco has signed up 6,887 POP customers who are able to not only benefit from their savings in being part of the program, but also contribute in shaving peak load during hours of high electricity use.