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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Meralco: Investing In A Sustainable Future For The Philippines

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the largest private sector electric power distribution company in the Philippines, has long been a beacon of reliability and innovation.

Under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, Meralco is dedicated to fostering economic development through sustainable projects. These initiatives are designed to provide stable and reliable electricity to consumers, contributing to the nation's energy security. | Photos: Meralco

As the nation’s primary electricity distributor, Meralco is dedicated to driving progress and delivering transformative value to its customers and communities. Through substantial investments and strategic initiatives, Meralco is not only enhancing its service reliability but also spearheading the country’s shift towards renewable energy.


Strengthening the Distribution Network

To meet the growing and evolving demands of its nearly 8 million customers, Meralco is continuously upgrading its distribution network.

These capital-intensive projects are crucial for strengthening the grid, making it more resilient and intelligent—especially in the face of severe weather disturbances. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, Meralco completed several significant upgrades and installations.

These include the replacement of a 100 MVA power transformer in Taguig City, the installation of an 83 MVA transformer at the Abubot Substation in Dasmariñas City, and the uprating of the Pamplona-San Pedro 115 kV line, among others.

These upgrades are pivotal in ensuring that stable, reliable, and cost-competitive power is delivered to customers.

Meralco’s proactive approach to improving its distribution network directly translates into fewer and shorter power outages, significantly benefiting consumers.

For instance, the recently energized Malinta Substation in Valenzuela City is expected to limit incidents of scheduled and long power outages, enhancing service reliability within the franchise area.

Competitive Power Supply Agreements

Consistent with its mandate to provide sufficient and reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost, Meralco has been implementing strategic sourcing activities.

In the first quarter of 2024, Meralco completed a Competitive Selection Process for 15-year Power Supply Agreements covering 3,000 MW baseload requirements. Additionally, a 400 MW baseload interim power supply agreement, effective until February 2025, was finalized.

These agreements are crucial for ensuring that Meralco can meet the peak demand, which recently hit a record of over 9,000 MW in April 2024.

The resulting contracts from these sourcing activities are currently under regulatory review and, once approved, will play a critical role in maintaining the stability and reliability of the power supply.

These initiatives demonstrate Meralco’s commitment to strategic planning and operational excellence in power distribution.

Advancing Renewable Energy Projects

Beyond distribution, Meralco is making significant strides in power generation through its subsidiary, Meralco PowerGen Corporation (MGen). MGen is focused on building a diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects, contributing to the Philippines' long-term energy security.

In recent years, MGen has initiated several renewable energy projects, including solar and wind farms across various regions.

A landmark project under MGen Renewable Energy, Inc. (MGreen) is the development of Terra Solar Philippines, Inc., which involves a 3.5 GWp solar power plant with a 4,500 MWhr battery energy storage system.

This project, once completed, will be one of the world’s largest single-site solar farms, marking a significant milestone in the Philippines’ renewable energy landscape.

Furthermore, MGreen has started constructing two new solar plants in the first quarter of 2024: an 18.75 MWac plant in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija, and a 49 MWac plant in Cordon, Isabela.

Both are expected to commence commercial operations by early 2025, further solidifying Meralco’s leadership in the renewable energy sector.


Embracing a Sustainable Future

Meralco’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond energy generation. The company is actively exploring the potential of nuclear energy through a partnership with the US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC).

Together, they have completed a pre-feasibility study for deploying Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) nuclear fuel technologies within the Meralco franchise area.

This initiative is part of Meralco’s Long-Term Sustainability Strategy (LTSS), which aims to transition to clean energy and achieve coal-free operations before 2050. In addition to technological advancements, Meralco is dedicated to social responsibility.

The One Meralco Foundation (OMF) continues to drive social amelioration programs, such as the One for Trees environmental program, which has led to the planting of 125,000 mangroves in Siargao.

OMF also energized 142 low-income households across several provinces and supported 150 indigenous coffee farmers in Bukidnon through its agriculture and livelihood electrification program.

Uplifting Lives

Meralco’s comprehensive approach to enhancing infrastructure, investing in renewable energy, and pursuing sustainable projects underscores its commitment to delivering transformative value.

By continuously improving service reliability and spearheading the transition to sustainable energy sources, Meralco not only meets the immediate needs of its customers but also contributes to the long-term energy security and economic development of the Philippines.

As Meralco’s Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan aptly stated, “Our growth prospects go beyond creating value for our shareholders. The opportunities we are pursuing are always anchored on the commitment to support economic development and contribute to uplifting the lives and welfare of more Filipinos.”


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