Solar Philippines says Meralco can save 30% with its P2.99/kWh rate offer

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Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. said its solar battery micro-grid in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro provides the town with reliable and low-cost power. -- SOLAR PHILIPPINES

SOLAR PHILIPPINES Power Project Holdings, Inc. said it had offered 24/7 power at P2.99 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) after the distribution utility invited price challengers to an unsolicited proposal from another entity for the supply of 414 megawatts (MW).

“Solar Philippines will utilize solar energy and battery storage to supply consumers reliable, clean energy at a lower cost than gas,” the company said during the weekend.

It said the unsolicited proposal came from Lopez-led First NatGas Power Corp., which will be sourcing power from its San Gabriel gas power plant in Batangas.

In a statement, Solar Philippines President Leandro L. Leviste said its offer to Meralco would allow the distribution utility to “save an average of 30% thanks to advances in solar and battery storage.”

He explained prices at the wholesale electricity spot market are at all-time low, while new power plants from Aboitiz Power Corp. and San Miguel Corp. offer consumers “very low rates.”

“Re-bidding this requirement in line with [the Department of Energy’s] technology-neutral policy will encourage competition and ensure consumers can enjoy significant savings,” Mr. Leviste added.

Solar Philippines made its offer to Meralco after the latter declared a failure of bidding in a competitive selection process (CSP), in which no company qualified to challenge the proposal of First NatGas.

“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.

Solar Philippines said compared to Meralco’s average generation rate in the past three months of P4.74 per kWh, a rate of P2.99 per kWh would allow consumers to save more than 30% or an estimated P75 billion a year.

The company noted consumers might save even more compared with gas plants, such as First NatGas’s 500 MW, which in the past three months supplied Meralco at an average rate of P5.44 per kWh, including value-added tax.

Solar Philippines said it had installed the country’s first megawatt-scale solar-battery micro-grid in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro, to provide 24/7 reliable power for an entire town at a lower cost than gas.

“The pioneering project features batteries from Tesla, the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer, and panels from the Solar Philippines factory,” it said. — Victor V. Saulon