• December 20, 2015 - Meralco inks JV with Repower Energy to develop hydropower

    THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) aims to provide millions of customers with green, sustainable energy as it partners with Repower Energy Development Corp. (REDC) in harnessing the country's hydroelectric power capabilities.

    The two companies signed a joint-venture agreement to build and develop mini-hydropower plants using run-of-river resources, for renewable and efficient energy production while minimizing environmental impact.

    REDC has over 100 megawatt of mini-hydropower projects under development clustered in Quezon, Camarines Sur, Bukidnon and other provinces. This represents a $400-million investment in mini-hydropower development. Early this month, REDC broke ground in the Rangas mini-hydropower project in Camarines Sur. Its next ground breaking is the Upper Labayat project in Quezon, scheduled for the first quarter of 2016. REDC, through its subsidiary Philippine Power and Development Co., has three operating mini-hydropower plants all in Laguna. The operating plants sell the power output to Meralco.

    "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" said Dexter Y. Tiu, REDC chief executive.

    This joint venture with Meralco for mini-hydropower projects will use the feed-in-tariff scheme mandated by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, where the rate is guaranteed by the government for 20 years at P5.90 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. The power generator and distributor sees the Philippines's abundant water resources as a key to giving millions of consumers more affordable access to electricity that is clean, sustainable and renewable.

    The joint venture will lead to a series of project groundbreaking of mini-hydropower plants starting from the first half of 2016 in select regions, following REDC's vision for its clustered development strategy. The clustered system uses the same transmission lines, infrastructure development, and other fixed costs that result in economies of scale.

    Heeding the government's call for more renewable- energy sources, REDC excels through operational efficiency, focused redevelopment and the introduction of the latest European technology for energy-production optimization. This joint venture's first set of hydropower plants will be operational by 2019.

    For its technical expertise, REDC has, likewise, tapped Manny M. Vergel III of Vergel Consult, the country's only Filipino World Bank consultant on mini-hydropower plants, to pursue its projects. Vergel, who is often regarded as "The Father of Mini-hydropower in the Philippines," has brought more than a dozen mini-hydropower plants to operation from inception.

    REDC is a subsidiary of Pure Energy Holdings Corp.



  • December 20, 2015 - Meralco partners with Repower Energy for hydropower plants

    Repower Energy Development Corporation has over 100 megawatts (MW) of mini-hydropower projects in Quezon, Camarines Sur, Bukidnon, and other provinces.

    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."

    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.

    "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 Y. 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 M. Vergel III of Vergel Consult — the country's only Filipino World Bank consultant on mini-hydropower plants — to pursue its projects.

    Manny M. Vergel III, 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.



  • December 20, 2015 - Meralco partners with Repower Energy for mini-hydropower

    MANILA ELECTRIC Co. (Meralco) has signed a joint venture agreement with Repower Energy Development Corp. (REDC) to build and develop mini-hydropower plants, representing its first foray into mini-hydropower development.

    In a statement released over the weekend, REDC said the project, which will be using run-of-river resources, is expected to bring $40 million in annual savings while reducing the country's carbon dioxide emissions.

    REDC said the venture with Meralco will avail of the feed-in-tariff scheme mandated by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which offers a guaranteed payments on a fixed per kilowatt-hour for electricity from wind, solar, ocean, hydropower and biomass energy sources. The government-guaranteed rate for 20 years is P5.90 per kilowatt-hour.

    Dexter Y. Tiu, REDC chief executive officer, said the company's wide experience in working with sustainable energy sources had allowed it to maximize their potential through a long-term approach of "using best of breed international technologies combined with local excellence in deployments."

    REDC said it has over 100 megawatts (MW) of mini-hydropower projects being developed in Quezon, Camarines Sur, Bukidnon and other provinces, which represents an investment of $400 million.

    Its Rangas mini-hydropower project in Camarines Sur broke ground earlier this month. The company is set to start another project in Labayat, Quezon in the first quarter of 2016.

    Last month, REDC acquired Philippine Power and Development Co., owner of the country's three oldest operating mini-hydropower plants. These plants in Laguna sell their power output to Meralco, the country's largest electricity distributor.

    REDC said the joint venture with Meralco paves the way for several mini-hydropower projects breaking ground starting in the first half of 2016 in several regions under the company's "clustered development strategy." The strategy uses the same transmission lines, infrastructure development, and other fixed costs that result in economies of scale, it said.

    REDC, a subsidiary of Pure Energy Holdings Corp., said it had tapped World Bank consultant Manny M. Vergel III of Vergel Consult for the projects. It said Mr. Vergel had brought more than a dozen mini-hydropower plants from inception to operation.

    Meralco is keen on entering into renewable energy projects and has been looking for opportunities in solar and wind resources.

    Last week, Oscar S. Reyes, Meralco president and chief executive officer, said the company was continuing to look at the renewables market and would first focus on a solar project.

    He declined to put a figure as initial investment but placed an "aspirational" target capacity of up to 100 MW under a new entity that will be called "MSpectrum."

    He said the company would look into "supporting rooftop solar" within Meralco's franchise area "without prejudice to going into other areas where there is an opportunity." The first target customers, he said, would be big commercial and industrial companies.

    Meralco provides power to more than 5.5 million customer accounts in 34 cities and 77 municipalities. The franchise area includes Metro Manila, the provinces of Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan, and parts of the provinces of Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

    "All our projects will require financing... all our projects are joint ventures," Mr. Reyes said. "I think we're looking at 70-30% equity for all of these projects."

    "I think the markets are still good. But markets will change over time especially as the [US Federal Reserve] has started its interest rate increase. We'll just have to watch how moderate or how fast those interest rate changes will be because that will reflect on the cost financing," he said.

    Mr. Reyes said the company's investments in renewables would be separate from its capital expenditure next year of P17.5 billion to P18 billion, which is largely for Meralco. The allocation, which stays in the range that the company previously disclosed, does not include outlay for power generation, he said.

    Meralco's controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).

    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.



  • December 07, 2015 - Rangas prepares CamSur site for mini-hydropower plant

    RANGAS Hydropower Corp. broke ground on Friday for its 1.5-megawatt (MW) mini-hydropower power plant in Camarines Sur. The members of the consortium are Mega Renewable Power Development, Viscal Development Corp., Brightvale Ventures, Greentech Asia, Ormin Power and Repower Energy Development Corp. (REDC).

    The power project, in the municipality of Goa will produce 10 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, allowing the franchise area of Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative (Casureco IV) to gain direct access to clean and sustainable energy. The electric cooperative will purchase the power from the consortium at P5.75 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), lower than the government regulated feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate of P5.90 per kWh.

    "We have committed to reinvest part of our profit from the 1.5-MW Rangas mini-hydropower plant back to said electric cooperative. With this, Casureco IV can improve their services to their consumers," REDC Chief Executive Dexter Tiu said. Casureco IV provides service power to nine municipalities with 258 barangays in the Camarines Sur's Fourth District.

    "We have worked on this project since 2009, the permitting process takes forever. It's about time we commence construction and start generating power in the next 30 months," Mega Renewable Power Development Chairman Benson Lao said.

    "This power-generation project will benefit the consumers of Casureco IV. While its output may not be enough for the whole franchise area, it will provide for some reliability in cases when the National Grid fails," Lao said.



  • December 06, 2015 - Consortium building mini-hydro plant in Camarines Sur

    A consortium composed of six companies will build a 1.5-megawatt mini-hydro power plant in Camarines Sur due for completion by 2018.

    Mega Renewable Power Development, Viscal Development Corp., Brightvale Ventures, Greentech Asia, Ormin Power and Repower Energy Development Corp. broke ground on Friday for the Rangas mini hydro power project in the municipality of Goa, a group statement said.

    The CamSur-based project of the consortium is set to produce 10 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, allowing the franchise area of Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative IV to gain direct access to clean and sustainable energy.

    The mini-hydropower plant will generate savings for Casureco IV as it will purchase electricity directly from the consortium at a reduced rate of P5.75 per kilowatt-hour compared with the government regulated feed-in tariff rate of P5.90 per kWh for hydro projects.

    "As it is Repower's mission to address the power outages around the country by supplying renewable energy, we have committed to reinvest part of our profit from the 1.5-MW Rangas mini hydropower plant back to said electric cooperative. With this, Casureco IV can improve their services to their consumers." said Repower Energy chief executive Dexter Tiu.

    Casureco IV is officially registered and categorized as a large electric cooperative by the National Electrification Administration. The cooperative provides service power to nine municipalities with 258 barangays in the Camarines Sur's fourth district.

    "We have worked on this project since 2009, the permitting process takes forever. It's about time we commence construction and start generating power in the next 30 months," Mega Renewable chairman Benson Lao said.

    "This power generation project will benefit the consumers of Casureco IV. While its output may not be enough for the whole franchise area, it will provide for some reliability in cases when the national grid fails," Lao said.

    Lao, Jack Gaisano of Viscal Development Corp., Jolly Ting of Ormin Power, Keith Ng of Brightvale Ventures, James Chua of Greentech Asia and Dexter Tiu and Chris Tiu of Repower Energy attended the groundbreaking ceremonies.

    Repower Energy, meanwhile, recently acquired Philippine Power and Development Co., owner of the country's three oldest operating mini-hydropower plants, in a bid to expand the output of the stations.

    The company is allocating around P300 million for the rehabilitation, which includes renewal of the structural and civil works of the Balugbog, Calibato and Palapakin hydro plants. It plans to upgrade the Laguna-based low-impact hydro plants, with the latest run-of-river systems technology.



  • December 06, 2015 - Mini hydro plant eyed for CamSur

    A CONSORTIUM of renewable energy firms will build a mini hydropower plant with a target capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW) in Goa, Camarines Sur.

    The proposed hydropower plant is a project of Mega Renewable Power Development, Viscal Development Corp., Brightvale Ventures, Greentech Asia, Ormin Power, and Repower Energy Development Corp. (REDC).

    The plant is expected to produce 10 gigawatt-hours of energy annually, which would allow the franchise area of Camarines Sur IV Electric Cooperative (Casureco IV) to gain access to clean and sustainable energy.

    Casureco IV will purchase power directly from the consortium at a reduced rate of P5.75 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which is lower than the government regulated feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of 5.90/kWh.

    The project will allow Casureco IV improve services to its consumers, said REDC chief executive Dexter Tiu.

    "As it is Repower's mission to address the power outages around the country by supplying renewable energy, we have committed to reinvest part of our profit from the 1.5 MW Rangas mini hydropower plant back to said electric cooperative," he said.

    Casureco IV is officially registered and categorized as a large electric cooperative by the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

    The cooperative provides service power to nine municipalities with 258 barangays in Camarines Sur's fourth district.

    Benson Lao, chairman of Mega Renewable Power Development, said they have been working on the project since 2009 but "the permitting process takes forever."

    "It's about time we commence construction and start generating power in the next 30 months," said Lao.

    "While its output may not be enough for the whole franchise area, it will provide for some reliability in cases when the national grid fails," he added.

    Completion of the Rangas mini hydropower plant is scheduled in 2018.



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