By Alena Mae S. Flores | Manila Standard

Power retailer Manila Electric Co. is looking at generating 3,000 megawatts in the next five years, including 1,000 MW from renewable energy.

“We are targeting around 3,000 MW within the next five years, with 1,000 MW allocated entirely to renewable energy projects,” Meralco president Ray Espinosa said in response to a query during the company’s first virtual annual stockholders’ meeting.

Meralco through MGen subsidiary MGEN Renewable Energy Inc.  is pursuing mostly solar energy projects. The company expects to complete solar projects with a total capacity of 100 MW this year.

“Building Meralco’s power distribution portfolio remains a highly strategic initiative of our company as we seek to add much needed reliable and efficient power supply to support the Philippines’ growth momentum,” Espinosa said.

Meralco PowerGen started the commercial operations of the P54.3-billion 455-MW San Buenaventura coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon in September.

SBPL is the country’s first high efficiency, low emission, supercritical power plant.

“Looking ahead, MGen is preparing for the launch and commercial operations of another highly efficient, supercritical power plant–the 2×600-MW Atimonan One Energy,” Espinosa said.

Meanwhile, Meralco said it did not violate any rules or guidelines from the Energy Regulatory Commission amid the high bills in May.

Espinosa said Meralco followed the distribution services and open access rules of the commission and the different ERC advisories that were issued on April 15, May 5 and May 22.

“It is reasonable for customers to see a spike in their May 2020 bills,” he said.

Some of the March and all of the April bills were estimated based on the preceding three months.

“Thus for many of our homes, the estimated consumptions for March and April were likely to be significantly lower than their actual consumption for these months,” he said.