THREE energy companies are looking to bid for Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) 500-megawatt (MW) renewable energy (RE) supply requirement.

Gigasol 3, Inc., Santa Cruz Solar Energy, Inc. (SCSEI), and San Roque Hydropower, Inc. (SRHI) expressed interest and participated in the pre-bid conference for Meralco’s 500-MW RE requirement on Friday last week.

Gigasol3 and SCSEI are subsidiaries of Ayala-led ACEN Corp. Gigasol3 operates a 63-MW solar farm in Palauig, Zambales, while SCSEI is developing the 500-MW solar project in San Marcelino, Zambales.

SRHI, formerly known as Strategic Power Development Corp., is a subsidiary of San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corp., serving as the administrator of the 345-MW San Roque hydroelectric power plant through an independent power producer administrator agreement.

Last month, Meralco launched the competitive selection process (CSP) for the renewable energy supply pursuant to the Energy department’s policy on renewable portfolio standards.

The CSP, a government-mandated transparent bidding process, aims to select the least-cost electricity supply. While the renewable portfolio standards mandate distribution utilities to get a portion of their energy supply from eligible renewable energy sources.

The 10-year power supply agreement resulting from the CSP will cover Meralco’s 350-MW mid-merit requirement starting February 2025, which will increase by 150 MW a year later.

Under the bid’s terms of reference, each bidder may offer a minimum contract capacity of at least 100 MW.

The deadline to submit bids is set for July 17.

Renewable energy is expected to account for 22% of Meralco’s supply portfolio by 2030.

Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has denied the motions filed by various parties to conduct a reset procedure for Meralco and affirmed its decision regarding the power distributor’s reset process.

In a 3-2 vote, the ERC denied the motions filed by the National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms, Inc. and Romeo Junia in July 2022, according to an order released on June 14.

The ERC also denied the motion filed by former ERC Commissioner Alfredo J. Non in the same year.

“The motions sought the reconsideration of the June 2022 decision and the dismissal of the case, arguing that it was contrary to the aims and purposes of the ERC’s Rules for Setting Distribution Wheeling Rates (RDWR) and the intents of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA),” the regulator said in a statement on Sunday.

In June 2022, the ERC directed Meralco to refund the additional P21.77 billion to its customers, covering the period from July 2015 to June 2022.

This came as part of the approved final refund scheme to account for the lapsed regulatory years.

In denying the motions, the ERC said it found “no merit in the contentions made.”

The regulator said it “exercised its general rate-resetting authority and power” to act on applications under the EPIRA in approving Meralco’s application of its actual weighted average tariff.

“Without any definite rate-setting rules to govern the subsequent regulatory period for all entry groups under the Performance Based Regulation (PBR), the lapsed regulatory years continue to expand for all Private Distribution Utilities (PDUs), where no applicable rate was set, for approximately seven (7) years for the First Entry Group in which Meralco is included,” the ERC said.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc.

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