Meralco seeks competing bids for 500-MW supply

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) has sought competitive offers for the supply of 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy (RE) for the electricity distributor’s mid-merit requirement starting in 2026.

In a press release on Wednesday, Meralco has invited interested parties to challenge, via a competitive selection process (CSP), the offer of Ahunan Power, Inc. (API) for P4.0511 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) headline rate and levelized cost of electricity.

API’s offer to supply renewable energy is exclusive of pumping or charging energy cost, for the 20-year contract that will start on Feb. 26, 2026.

Meralco’s third-party bids and awards committee said bidders have until Aug. 10 to submit their expression of interest. A pre-bid conference is scheduled on Aug. 11.

API proposed to source the supply from its pumped storage hydroelectric power plant projects in Pakil, Laguna, and San Mateo-Antipolo, Rizal.

Under the approved terms of reference of the CSP, the supply can come from a single or a portfolio of power plants that must be located in Luzon or Visayas, as long as the minimum configuration is sufficient to meet the contract capacity.

Meralco also said that the guaranteed output should be solely contracted to it, providing further that 100% of the contract capacity should be available for six to 12 hours daily covering the power utility’s peak hours, for at least 84 hours a week.

The bid submission deadline is on Sept. 14, following the opening of pre-qualification document submissions on the same day.

This CSP round is in compliance with the Department of Energy’s Renewable Portfolio Standards, or RPS policy, and forms part of Meralco’s efforts to source up to 1,500 MW of its power requirements from renewable energy sources.

The company’s call for bid challengers comes days after Prime Infrastructure Capital, Inc. announced that it had been declared by Meralco as the original proponent to supply 500 MW.

“We look forward to the opportunity of further providing renewable energy sources that are reliable and sustainable,” Prime Infra Chairman Enrique K. Razon, Jr. previously said.

Earlier this year, Meralco received an unsolicited proposal from Terra Solar Philippines, Inc. to supply 850 MW of mid-merit power. Mid-merit plants can adjust their output when energy demand peaks within the day.

Terra Solar is a unit Terra Renewables Holdings, Inc., the renewable energy subsidiary of Mr. Razon’s infrastructure firm that partnered with Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc.

After the two rounds of failed CSPs due to the lack of challengers, Meralco started direct negotiations with the original proponent. The resulting power supply agreement from the negotiations will be submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission for review and approval.

CSP is the mandated open and transparent manner in arriving at the least cost of electricity.

Meralco is the largest power distributor and the largest private sector utility in the Philippines. Its 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 interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose