Philippine power supply to get boost from new solar plant

The Luzon Grid in the Philippines is set for a boost after Global Business Power Corp. (GBP) broke ground for a new solar power plant in Baras, Rizal.

With a capacity of 115 megawatts (MW), the project is expected to commence commercially in 2022. This is GBP’s foray into the renewable energy market through its subsidiary PH Renewables Inc.

As a leading power generator in the Visayas region and with operations in the fast-growing Mindanao market, the solar plant is located within a 135-hectare area inside the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp.’s (PHILCOMSAT) grounds in Rizal allows GBP to finally service the three major islands of the country.

“We have worked together with our partners to aid the growing demand for cleaner and affordable power supply,” GBP President Jaime Azurin was quoted as saying in a statement.

“In response to the government’s push for renewable energy, we have persevered to finally commence construction of this timely project to fuel the nation’s progress. Although the journey towards this day has been extra challenging because of the global pandemic and movement restrictions, we remain in high spirits and committed to commence operations in 2022, in time for post-pandemic recovery,” he added.

The new plant in Baras marks as the second solar plant introduced by the Meralco Group following the 50-MW Bulacan Solar Power Plant in San Miguel, Bulacan.

The new plant is crucial as the country battles a series of power outages amid unplanned shutdowns coupled with the looming maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas field in October.

It can be learned that early last month, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines placed the Luzon grid under yellow and red alerts amid the thinning supply as against the increasing power demand. A yellow alert means the supply of power is thin while a red alert means there is insufficient capacity in the grid that could trigger brownouts.

Leading the event were Azurin, Mitsui & Co. Branch General Manager Shinichiro Shimada, partner Antonio Ver, China Energy Engineering Co., Ltd. Philippine Branch Office General Manager Wu Linlin, Solenergy Systems President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Peebles.

China Energy Engineering Group Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute Co., Solenergy Systems, and China Energy Engineering Co., Ltd. were commissioned to provide the design, engineering, procurement and construction of the plant facility.

GBP is a member of the Meralco Group, the Philippines’ largest energy distribution utility, through its renewable arm MERALCO PowerGen Corp.

GBP’s entry into the renewables space is aligned with One Meralco Group’s long-term sustainability agenda, which includes renewable energy project development and sourcing.