THE 68-MW “Garcia 2” Solar Project, located in the municipality of Currimao in Ilocos Norte. — VENAENERGY.COM

MGEN RENEWABLE Energy, Inc. (MGreen) is keen to expand its 68-megawatt-alternating current (MWac) solar plant project with Vena Energy in Ilocos Norte.

“This is a test period for both of us,” Jaime T. Azurin, president and chief executive officer of Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), said about the group’s plan for the project’s expansion.

MGreen is the renewable energy subsidiary of MGen, the power generation arm of listed electric distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

“I think there is some good synergy and we hope to expand more,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of Nuevo Solar Energy Corp.’s (NSEC), a joint venture between MGreen and Vena Energy in Ilocos Norte.

The 68-MWac “Garcia 2” solar project in Currimao, Ilocos Norte has a total cost of $65 million, according to Samrinder Nehria, head of Vena Energy Philippines.

“Today we embark on a new chapter in our partnership with Vena Energy as we start the commercial operations of NSEC. Powered by our shared aspiration to provide clean and sustainable energy, we are proud to have helped accelerate the country’s energy transition and shall continue investing in clean and sustainable energy source,” Mr. Azurin said.

He said the solar project will supply renewable energy to MPower, the local retail electricity arm of Meralco.

Mr. Azurin said NSEC’s solar plant is part of MGen’s goal to build 1,500 MW of renewable energy in the next five years.

In 2021, MGen launched the commercial operations of BulacanSol’s 55-MWac solar plant in San Miguel, Bulacan followed by the construction of a 75-MWac solar project in Baras, Rizal through PH Renewables, Inc.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose