MERALCO Powergen Corp. (MGen) is still expecting to launch its solar farm in Bulacan within the year despite a delay in construction due to the quarantine restrictions.

Last April, PowerSource First Bulacan Solar, Inc. (PFBSI), the project proponent of the 50-megawatt (MW) generation facility, was given a special permit by the Bulacan government to resume site activities.

“We still hope to complete that by the end of this year, instead of the end of [the] third quarter,” said Rogelio L. Singson, MGen president and chief executive officer, during a recent virtual briefing of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

It can still delay the power farm’s commercial run should the government extend the pandemic-induced lockdown period, the official added. The local government’s support is also considered for the matter.

The P4.25-billion project is situated in a 72-hectare area in San Miguel, Bulacan.

MGen owns 40% of PFBSI through MGen Renewable Energy, Inc. (MGreen), while PowerSource Global Holdings Corp. holds a 36% stake and Singapore-based Sunseap International Pte. Ltd. owns the remaining 24%.

The consortium has awarded a contract to Chinese firm SUMEC Complete Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd. for the construction of the solar farm, which started in December last year.

“Right now, we were able to commence work in the area. But with a lot of caution coming from the LGU (local government unit), we were limited to hiring or utilizing, as much as possible, workers from Bulacan,” Mr. Singson said.

The project is way past half, or 53%, of completion, as of July 13, he said.

MGreen is planning to roll out 1,000-MW projects over the next five to seven years. — Adam J. Ang