Bulacan welcomes 50MW power plant in their province, starts commercial operations

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Aware of the goal of the Philippines to achieve energy security and independence and the need for providing steady power to communities across the Philippines as the pandemic continues to impact the individual’s life and businesses, the 50-megawatts (MW) solar power plant of PowerSource First Bulacan Solar, Inc. (PFBSI) has officially started commercial operations and now provides clean and renewable power to the Luzon grid.

BulacanSol is the newly completed plant that secured a clearance to operate from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on May 12.

Located in San Miguel, Bulacan, the PhP4.25-billion project is a joint undertaking of MGen Renewable Energy, Inc. (MGreen), which owns 60% of the project; and PowerSource Energy Holdings Corporation, with 40%.

MGreen is the renewable energy unit of MERALCO PowerGen Corporation (MGen), which in turn is the power generation arm of MERALCO.

BulacanSol now plays a significant role in One MERALCO Group’s long-term sustainability agenda.

“This is a modest step into renewables but a significant one for MERALCO. We look forward to many more investments in renewables, particularly solar, as we attempt to achieve that balance in fuel sourcing, which will ultimately be biased towards renewables,” MERALCO Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

“In June 2019, MERALCO made the first announcement that it would join the shift to renewable energy and it will adopt sustainable practices for the One MERALCO Group. And today, we realize the very first renewable power plant – the first of several that One Meralco has lined up for investment and sourcing,” added MERALCO President & CEO Atty. Ray C. Espinosa.

BulacanSol signifies the commitment of One MERALCO and PowerSource Group to help ensure energy security through clean, cost-competitive, and sustainable power, PFBSI Chairman Rogelio L. Singson said.

“We pledge to continue building more environmentally conscious projects as part of our commitment to a sustainable energy transition for the future generations,” said Mr. Singson, who is also the President & CEO of MGen.

“As the first operational project of MGreen, BulacanSol is a very important milestone that drives us to aggressively pursue more projects that will help us achieve our target of building a renewable energy portfolio with a capacity of up to 1,500MW in the next five to seven years,” he added.

Mr. Singson also acknowledged the very strong support BulacanSol received from national government agencies including the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, and Department of Public Works and Highways; as well as from the local government unit of San Miguel led by Mayor Roderick Tiongson.

Construction activities for the plant started in December 2019 following the issuance of notice-to-proceed to SUMEC Complete Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd., the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the project.

BulacanSol in February reached 1.5 million safe man-hours without lost time incident, reflecting the company’s commitment to safety and security in all its activities.

This was achieved notwithstanding hurdles encountered including delays brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and a string of weather disturbances that limited movements at the power plant site.

“We share this achievement with our employees, engineers, contractors, and partners in the government and private sector who worked together to bring this project into reality. With their perseverance, determination and hard work, we are finally going to see the light,” said PFBSI President and PowerSource Chairman Aloysius B. Colayco.

“Not even the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns we experienced during the construction period hindered us from completing this renewable project,” said Mr. Ricardo G. Lazatin, PFBSI Vice Chairman and PowerSource President & CEO, said.

“We are confident that this solar plant will help the much needed power requirements of our country especially during these challenging times,” he added. #

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