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Meralco launches hydropower plant

Meralco, in partnership with Repower Energy Development Corp. (REDC), a subsidiary of Pure Energy Holdings Corp., through its joint venture, Pure Meridian Hydropower Corp. (PMHC), held a groundbreaking ceremony in Lalawinan, Quezon province for a 3.0 MW run-of-river mini hydropower plant (MHP).
PMHC chairman Alfredo Panlilio said this is the second project under the partnership.
Last December, the Pulanai MHP in Bukidnon had its groundbreaking with no less than President  Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi gracing the event.
“We reiterate our earlier pronouncement that our investments in the various run-of-river mini hydro projects are a manifestation of our unwavering commitment to support the development of the renewable energy sector.
It is our hope that these various initiatives will contribute in providing a stable, clean and reliable energy source,” added Panlilio.
PMHC and Pure Energy’s CEO Dexter Tiu remains focused on putting forward knowledge on run-of-river (ROR) technology.
“Another groundbreaking, another testament to our commitment to promote awareness, understanding and utilization of run-of-river (ROR) hydropower as the best renewable energy resource due to its near baseload nature.  
Our goal is to provide sustainable alternatives to balance the country’s over dependence on fossil fuels, while preserving our natural watersheds,” said Tiu.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently signed a partnership with Pure Energy to identify key areas for potential run of river hydropower development.
A Seize the Flow campaign was recently launched by the parties, whereby it will also promote awareness and preservation of the watersheds.
“We are committed to help save our last remaining Sierra Madre rainforest and wildlife habitat here in Quezon, which is our humble way of participating in the war on climate change,” added Tiu.
The Lalawinan MHP will connect to the transmission infrastructure of REDC’s Upper Labayat 3.0 MW mini-hydro power project via a 10.5 km 69kV line.
The project will have two generating units with terminal voltage of 4.16kV and with total output of 3.0 MW — utilizing a 5MVA 4.16/69kV step-up transformer.
The total annual power generation will be over 16 gigawatt hours from this renewable energy source.
The project will cost P700 million and will generate over 200 jobs during construction, mostly hired from the local community.  
The project will avail of the run-of-river hydropower FiT rate of 5.90/kwh. ROR hydropower is the cheapest renewable energy resource being charged under FiT.
This is Meralco’s first foray in run-of-river hydropower in the island of Luzon.
For Pure Energy’s hydropower arm, REDC, this is its third hydropower groundbreaking this year.
The company presently has several operational hydropower plants in Laguna. Aside from Lalawinan, the company is targeting to ground break another two more hydropower projects this year, and another 15 hydropower projects in the next three years.
After cementing a foothold in the baseload hydropower and geothermal sphere, Pure Energy plans to venture into the intermittent solar energy for a balance portfolio of renewable energy projects.
REDC was established in 2013 to address the government’s call for additional investments in renewable energy generation, with the goal of building and operating numerous low impact run-of-river hydropower plants all over the country.
Its vision is driven by its social responsibility to provide every Filipino access to clean, sustainable, renewable energy.
Meralco is the country’s largest electric distribution company with coverage of 36 cities and 75 municipalities, including Metro Manila.
It serves more than six million customers of the country’s industrial, commercial, and population centers.

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