By Alena Mae Flores
Manila Standard 


PH Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Global Business Power Corp., broke ground on its first 115-megawatt solar power plant in Baras, Rizal, signaling the start of construction. 


The project is expected to commence commercial operations by 2022, which is seen to help augment the country’s thin power supply. 


PHRI’s solar project marks GBPC’s entry in the renewable energy market.   The solar plant located within a 135-hectare area inside the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp.’s grounds in Rizal allows GBPC to service the three major islands of the country, supporting its presence in the Visayas and Mindanao. 


“We have worked together with our partners to aid the growing demand for cleaner and affordable power supply.  In response to the government’s push for renewable energy, we have persevered to finally commence construction of this timely project to fuel the nation’s progress. Although the journey towards this day has been extra challenging because of the global pandemic and movement restrictions, we remain in high spirits and committed to commence operations in 2022, in time for post-pandemic recovery,” GBPC president Jaime Azurin said in a statement. China Energy Engineering Group Guangdong Electric Power Design Institute Co., Solenergy Systems and China Energy Engineering Co. Ltd. were commissioned to provide the design, engineering, procurement and construction of the plant facility.  


GBPC is wholly-owned by Meralco PowerGen Corp. which in turn is the power generation arm of Manila Electric Co. 


GBPC said its entry into the renewables space was aligned with One Meralco Group’s long-term sustainability agenda, which includes renewable energy project development and sourcing. 


“We aim to transition to cleaner fuel sources by obtaining 1,500 MW of our power requirements from renewable energy in the next five years,” said Meralco president and chief executive Ray Espinosa. 


The Meralco Group targets to build a 1,500-MW renewable energy portfolio through 2027 as part of its commitment to help ensure energy security through clean, cost-competitive and sustainable power. 


GBPC, with a total gross capacity of 1,091 MW, has diversified power generation facilities in the Visayas and Mindanao which are capable of supplying base, intermediate, peak load and ancillary support.