A UNIT of MRC Allied, Inc. has launched a 550-kilowatt-peak (kWp) solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop project in northern Luzon, adding to the company’s portfolio as it aims to be a major renewable energy (RE) player in the country.

Menlo Renewable Energy Corp. (MREN), a wholly owned subsidiary of the listed company, launched on Oct. 8 its pilot project, which is a solar PV in a rice mill, the parent firm told the stock exchange on Wednesday.

“Today we are not only making history in MREN but for MRC as well. We have finally kicked off our RE portfolio through this pilot project and we are working hard to produce more through our RE subsidiary, MREN,” said Augusto M. Cosio, Jr., MRC Allied president and chief executive officer.

“It’s been a great first year for me with MRC and working with one of our subsidiaries MREN because we were able to realize this pilot project in less than a year,” he said.

Mr. Cosio said the project is also aimed at helping rebuild the agriculture sector by reducing power costs.

The company said the solar rooftop system is MREN and MRC Allied’s way of making renewable energy technology accessible to other industries such as the agricultural sector. In the process, the companies “would be able to help in reducing production cost as well as country side development.”

MRC Allied did not immediately respond when asked about the town and the province in northern Luzon where the solar PV rooftop was installed.

“As a renewable energy player, MRC Allied espouses solar energy because of its benefits to the environment,” it said, adding that the project has its own benefits especially for the commercial and industrial companies such as rice mills.

“Furthermore, it complements the day and peaking power requirements of the rice mill,” the company said, resulting in about 30% savings in the facility’s electricity bill. “This, in turn, would benefit the consumers as it can translate to lower rice prices.”

MRC Allied said it aims to become “a major renewable energy player with the goal of enhancing shareholder value after successfully transitioning into a bigger and better company last year.” It said MREN has other solar rooftop projects in the pipeline, moving forward.

“These projects in the pipeline would transform MRC Allied into a bigger, bolder and future-ready company with investments in renewable energy,” the company said.

On Wednesday, shares in the company rose by 1.67 % to close at P0.305 each. — Victor V. Saulon