MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) partnered with Repower Energy Development Corporation (REDC) to build and to develop mini-hydropower plants in some parts of the Philippines, which will be operational by 2019.
REDC said these mini-hydropower plants will use run-of-river resources “for renewable and efficient energy production while minimizing environmental impact.” (READ: How cheaper solar power could disrupt the energy sector)
REDC has over 100 megawatts (MW) of mini-hydropower projects in Quezon, Camarines Sur, Bukidnon, and other provinces under development. This represents a $400-million investment in mini-hydropower development.
Early this December, REDC broke ground in the Rangas mini-hydropower project in Camarines Sur. It is scheduled to start the construction of the Upper Labayat project in Quezon in the first quarter of 2016.
REDC, through its subsidiary Philippine Power and Development Company (Philpodeco), has 3 operating mini-hydropower plants in Laguna. The operating plants in Laguna sell the power output to Meralco, REDC said. (READ: INFOGRAPHIC: Top power players in the Philippines)
“Our wide experience in working with sustainable energy sources has allowed us to maximize its potential through our long-term approach of using best of breed international technologies combined with local excellence in deployments,” REDC CEO Dexter Tiu said in a statement.
Its joint venture with Meralco for mini-hydropower projects will avail of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme mandated by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, where the rate is guaranteed by the government for 20 years at P5.9 ($0.12) per kilowatt hour.
“By partnering with REDC, the initiative marks Meralco’s first foray into mini-hydropower development, a renewable energy source set to bring forth more than $40-million in annual savings, while reducing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions,” REDC said.
The power generator and distributor said it sees the Philippine’s abundant water resources as key to providing consumers “more affordable access to electricity.”
REDC said its partnership with Meralco will lead to a series of project ground breaking of mini-hydropower plants starting from the first half of 2016 in select regions.
The clustered system uses the same transmission lines, infrastructure development, and other fixed costs that result in economies of scale.
This joint venture’s first set of hydropower plants will be operational by 2019.
REDC said it has tapped Manny Vergel III of Vergel Consult — the country’s only Filipino World Bank consultant on mini-hydropower plants — to pursue its projects.
Vergel, who is regarded as the father of mini hydropower in the Philippines, brought more than a dozen mini-hydropower plants to operation.
REDC is a subsidiary of Pure Energy Holdings Corporation. — Rappler.com