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Meralco exceeds renewables capacity target

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) said it had surpassed its target renewable energy (RE) contracts with an equivalent capacity of 1,880 megawatts (MW) as part of its long-term sustainability strategy.

In a media release over the weekend, the company said it had breached its initial target of 1,500 MW of RE capacity from various suppliers in compliance with the government’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) policy.

“Our just, orderly, and affordable transition to clean energy is at the core of our sustainability journey, and this commitment solidifies our drive to bring to life projects that will help serve the country’s growing energy demand with greener power,” Meralco First Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer Raymond B. Ravelo said.

Under the RPS scheme, electricity suppliers are required to source a portion of their energy supply from eligible RE sources to contribute to the growth of the RE industry in the Philippines.

“We will continue to elevate and evolve our sustainability initiatives as we implement our long-term sustainability strategy that involves the adoption of next-generation clean technologies and deep decarbonization efforts as we aspire to be coal-free by 2050,” he added.

As of end-2022, RE accounted for about 22% of the country’s total energy mix, with coal-fired power plants accounting for almost 60%.

The government targets to increase the share of RE to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. Last year, the Department of Energy raised the RPS requirement to 2.52% per annum starting in 2023 from 1% per annum previously.

“Through Meralco’s strategic sourcing initiatives, RE is expected to account for 22% of the distribution utility’s supply portfolio by 2030, and 18% of Meralco’s retail electricity supplier, MPower, by 2025,” the company said.

This will enable the company to reduce its total carbon emissions by 15% in relation to the projected baseline 2030 emissions, it said.

In a separate media release, One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Meralco, said it had installed a 5.1-kilowatt peak solar photovoltaic system in Davao de Oro for the rice milling facility of the Laak Multipurpose Cooperative.

The cooperative’s rice milling production increased threefold to over 100 sacks of milled rice daily from about 30 sacks per day previously with the building of a new solar facility, the company noted.

“Lack of electricity continues to be a challenge for many communities, especially in rural Philippines. The agriculture and livelihood electrification is an expansion of our community electrification program that fosters inclusivity and equitable access to basic services powered by sustainable and renewable energy solution,” OMF President Jeffrey O. Tarayao said.

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. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

Neil Banzuelo

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