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Meralco should open doors for RE as SMC bails on its contracts

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The Power for People Coalition (P4P) on Monday expressed its hope that the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will maximize renewable energy sources to fill the void created by San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) cancelation of its two contracts.

SMC subsidiaries Excellent Energy Resources Inc. (EERI) and Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd informed Meralco of their decision to terminate their power supply agreements (PSAs) amounting to 1,200MW and 600MW, respectively.

“Meralco’s go-to move since the whole SMC fiasco is to procure high-priced supply from the spot market. Now is the opportune moment for them to bid out 1,800 MW of power to renewable energy generation companies if they choose to structure the PSAs this way. It will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, cost to consumers, and our greenhouse gas emissions. It will be a big win for everyone in the power sector,” said Gerry Arances, P4P Convenor.

Higher power rates were triggered by SMC’s move to unilaterally pull out of two fixed-price PSAs. The case of these two PSAs is now pending before the Court of Appeals.

“SMC is moving to ensure that consumers pay higher electricity prices. It is walking out of contracts to compel distribution utilities and the government to agree to higher prices or face an energy crisis. Despite its renewable energy portfolio, SMC still insists on fossil fuel sources of energy,” said Arances.

With summer signaling red alerts and rotating blackout in the country as fossil-fuel-powered plants fail at a time of peak demand, Arances called for a reliable energy source.

“We need reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy for our homes. The dominance of fossil fuels has prevented renewable energy companies from providing cheaper electricity to consumers. Now, Meralco can make a bold move and give renewable energy a head start. It is an opportunity we hope they will take, for the benefit of consumers,” said Arances.

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