BENGUET Electric Cooperative (BENECO)’s new 3-megawatt (MW) mini hydro power plant in Man-asoc is ready for commercial operation and is only awaiting the acquisition of the required permits to operate.
BENECO General Manager Melchor Licoben said that the operation of the plant has already been synchronized with the transmission facilities of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
However, BENECO is still acquiring clearance from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) prior to the power plant’s commercial operation.
The plant has been in the works since October of 2009, when the service contract for the Man-asoc plant was signed between BENECO and the DOE.
Detailed designs were completed for the plant in 2013, followed by a one-year period of obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from the local indigenous community, leading to a memorandum of agreement between the community and BENECO.
However, the project was stalled due to unfortunate circumstances, including Typhoon Ompong in 2018, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.