BENECO completes first embedded power generation facility

BENECO completes first embedded power generation facility

RENEWABLE ENERGYBenguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) contemplates developing more renewable energy projects. The power utility, a beneficiary of a  US$1M grant by the European Union (EU), awaits the conversion of an agricultural land identified to be the site of a Solar Power Project, BENECO Board of Directors chairperson Esteban A. Somngi (right) reveals in a press conference on Friday. (Photo from left: BENECO general manager Melchor S. Licoben and PHILRECA president Presley de Jesus). Merriam del Rosario, FNS

BAGUIO CITY — Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) has completed the construction of the Man-asok Mini-Hydroelectric Power Generation Facility, a 3MW power plant project located in barangay Sebang in the municipality of Buguias, province of Benguet.

The power plant is BENECO’s first embedded power generation facility and is projected to generate 13,000,000 KWH of electricity annually.

In a press conference on Friday, July 1, 2022, BENECO general manager Melchor S. Licoben said the project was completed in December last year and had gone through a successful test run conducted by the utility’s consultants from Gander, Austria.

He said the new power generating facility is now ready for commercial operation and awaiting the go signal from the respective laboratory agencies.

Licoben said the new facility will further reduce the cost of electricity and will not pass through the transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), being an embedded facility owned by BENECO itself.

He said BENECO will run the plant and any excess generation will be donated to the NGCP.

“Although the capacity is small compared to the demand of BENECO, this is a good start for us for bigger projects to come,” Licoben said.

Licoben said the new facility’s 3MW capacity will not have a direct impact on power generation cost and will almost be unfelt taking into consideration the current demand of BENECO which is 90KW.

“We are looking into developing more renewable energy projects to realize the impact on the rates,” Licoben said.

Licoben also said that there are still about 15% sitios that need to be energized under the Sitio Electrification Program of the government and about PhP300M is still needed to electrify the unenergized sitios.

He added that despite the leadership problems, ongoing rural energization projects will continue to push through.

Licoben assured BENECO member-consumers that they continuously strive to deliver the service that the MCOs deserve despite the ongoing crisis.

“We are working round the clock, 24/7. We are not bothered by these issues surrounding us because our mandate is to deliver the light when it is needed most,” Licoben said. # Merriam del Rosario // FNS

Merriam del Rosario