BY JOE ZALDARRIAGA | The Daily Tribune
Another meaningful week has passed, allowing me to reflect on where are we now as a country and where we are headed, especially as we continue to make a better world for future generations. The elections are over; we have new legislators and local leaders ready to draft laws and guide our nation.
With that setting, it is now time for the government, public and private sector to collaborate for a more progressive Philippines. Last Wednesday, 5 June, we joined hands with our Muslim brothers to celebrate the end of Ramadan, most popularly known as Eid al-Fitr. On the same day, we also joined the rest of the world in honoring World Environment Day.
“ It is with great pride and joy that Meralco is making inroads to expand its plans and invest in renewable energy projects in the near future.
World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. Since 5 June was a local holiday due to the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, it gave our country more opportunity to reflect on what it means to be environmentally aware, and allowed my company to also make a major announcement regarding one of its exciting new projects.
After all, World Environment Day is a platform for action, and above all, as stated on their website, World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of Mother Earth. That “something” can be local, national or global. It can be a solo action or involve a crowd. Everyone is free to choose.
And that is where Meralco has made a stand, and we chose to go green indeed. The company announced that it will invest in 1,000-megawatt (MW) green energy projects. It is with great pride and joy that Meralco is making inroads to expand its plans and invest in renewable energy projects in the near future.
“As we celebrate the World Environment Day, we announce that we are developing 1,000-MW of renewable energy projects in the next five to seven years, joining the inexorable shift to renewable energy and the adoption of sustainable practices in everything we do,” Meralco president and chief executive officer Atty. Ray C. Espinosa said.
“Meralco is committed to developing large-scale renewable energy projects that can deliver competitive electricity for our customers, without any requirement for subsidy or support, while keeping environmental stewardship and sustainability as top priorities in our business,” Atty. Espinosa added.
As part of this plan, MGEN Renewable Energy Inc. (MGreen) has been established to serve as the platform for the strategic push to develop renewable energy projects, primarily solar, wind and run-of-river hydro. The new company aims to bring in additional supply to support the Philippines’ growth momentum and help ensure availability of green and cost-competitive power supply in the coming years.
MGreen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corporation (MGen), the power generation arm of Meralco.
“We are working on several renewable energy prospects and we recognize the significant reduction in the development cost, particularly for large-scale solar and wind over the past years. Notwithstanding the ongoing requirement for new reliable baseload generation to support the fast-growing Philippine economy, we believe that the time is right to focus on building our green energy capacity and we intend to be a key player in this expanding sector,” MGen president and chief executive officer Rogelio L. Singson said.
“MGen, through MGreen, will continue working on the realization of our project opportunities, and will work in partnership with established developers to maximize our growth potential,” he added.
He also said that the plan is aligned with MGen’s growth aspirations, which are focused on advancing renewable energy prospects and utilization of high efficiency, low emission (HELE) technology for baseload power plants.
Singson said MGen will continue to work with the energy industry, government and other stakeholders to serve the country’s energy needs while ever mindful of its greater responsibility to society and the planet.
The announcement to go green further shows that Meralco, as the largest electric power distribution company and the largest private sector utility in the Philippines, has also taken another step beyond the call to duty of distributing power by producing and providing clean and green electricity through MGen.
Similar to MGEN, Meralco’s other subsidiaries are engaged in going above and beyond just distributing power. They are also pursuing engineering and consulting, construction, bills payments and other electricity-related services. Through all these efforts, the Meralco family hopes to power the progress of our nation, and pave the way for a brighter tomorrow and a better world.