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Solar Philippines eyes supply contract with Meralco

Solar Philippines is challenging Lopez-led First Gen Corp. for a 24/7 power supply contract with Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

In an emailed statement, Solar Philippines said it gave Meralco a rate of P2.99 per kilowatt-hour (/kWh), for an estimated savings of P75 billion per year.

This compares with an average rate of P5.44/kWh proposed by First Gas Power Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen Corp., which currently sells power to Meralco from a 500-megawatt (MW) natural gas plant.

Solar Philippines noted the supply will come from its 414-MW San Gabriel solar farm.

“Meralco can save an average of 30 percent, thanks to advances in solar and battery storage,” Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said.

Meralco declared as failure a recent bidding under the Competitive Selection Process (CSP), noting the prospective suppliers did not qualify to challenge First Gen.

Participants in the selection process must offer the same fuel as the original supplier— in this case, natural gas.

Solar Philippines is keeping its fingers crossed: that Meralco would decided to open the selection process to all forms of energy.

“Meralco may now choose whether to re-bid this under the same terms, or amend the terms to allow other technologies to compete on the basis of cost,” the company said.

“If competition is opened to the widest field of players, residential customers would also enjoy such low costs, translating to P1,000 in savings per household per year,” Leviste noted. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News