from Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor
MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) is looking beyond its franchise for a micro-portable construction site similar to its Cagbalete Island hybrid system.
"We also plan to bring this out of our franchise area so we can help the Department of Energy and the Government to provide electrification to other parts of the country using the same solution," said Ray S. Espinosa, President and CEO of Meralco. told reporters Tuesday.
Manuel Pangilinan, President of Meralco, reaffirmed the plan of the power company to distribute the system in other areas.
"There are a few other islands we are still exploring," he said for the introduction of more micro-systems or small networks that operate independently of the interconnected electricity transmission and distribution network of the continent.
On Tuesday, Meralco launched the Cagbalete energy microseries, a fishing island village and expanding tourist site in Quezon province, after completing a hybrid power plant that has a solar photovoltaic system with kilowatt peak (kWp), 150 kWh rechargeable power, and two the block with 30 kW diesel generators.
Initially, the micro-environment will provide 24/7 power to about 200 households in Cagbalete, an island with a depth of 1795 hectares with two barrages.
Mr. Espinoza said during the year, the remaining 600 families, as well as the restaurants and resorts of the island will be energized.
The yesterday's start was held at the Grand Hyatt in Global City Bonifacio with a ceremony in Cagbalete. Previously, Meralco launched a hybrid power plant on Verde Island in Batangas province.
Mr. Espinosa said Meralco's plan is not only to provide a system that uses an innovative and integrated hybrid solution but also to provide stable power to the grid.
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairman and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera said Meralco is becoming more "appropriate" by launching high-priced micro-flow systems with a low return on investment.
"There is increasing sensitivity to respond to growing needs," she said at the event. It expects the Cagbalete power costs to drop from the existing P55 for kWh.
The launch comes a day after President Rodrigo R. Dutte said on Monday that the country should reduce its dependence on coal as a source of more renewable energy.
Mr. Pangilinan said the call was a "happy match," because the micro environment is "a partial CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)." A Meralco Foundation is a partner in the project, bearing part of the costs people have to pay to connect to the power distribution system.
– Power is a means of helping. What people need is pure water. At the moment it is deeply good. We need to build a water purification plant, "he said.
– Secondly, I noticed fishermen, the main industry is fishing. We have to put a cold store, "he said. – Of course, the tourist facilities – chalets, a place where people can stay for one night or several nights.
On the sidelines of the event, Mr. Pangilinan told reporters that he expects the first-half earnings to be better than last year's.
He refused to say how much, but said: "This is aided by volume." He meant sales in kilowatt-hours.
He did not expect double-digit growth in the first half, but said he was "better than the historical average."
Meralco will report its financial results during the first semester on Monday. In the first half of last year, its consolidated net profit increased by 7% to 10.9 billion, while consolidated net profit increased by 14% to 12 billion. Revenues reached P150.5 billion, which is 7% more, while the volume of energy sold is 21,665 gigawatt hours, also 7% higher.