The Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc. (BENECO) is set to launch its first power plant by the second quarter of 2020 in a bid to cut the cost of electricity from P5.40 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to as low as P1.50 per kWh.
“It is in the process of completing the construction of the 3-megawatt (MW) hydropower generation plant in Mang-asok, Buguias town in Benguet and will be commissioned by the second quarter next year,” BENECO Power Generation Department Manager Rocky Pallogan was quoted as saying in a Manila Times report.
In accordance with the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), distribution utilities are encouraged to go into electric power generation to provide for their requirements and cut the cost of electricity that they passed on to the consumers.
“‘Yun na ang direksyon, mag-produce ng kuryente para lower rates na maibigay sa consumers,” Pallogan stated in the report.
This will be followed by the 1 MW solar power plant ready for construction and is projected to be operational within the year.
“We have already purchased a one-hectare lot at Tabaan Sur, Tuba, Benguet for the project funded by the European Union (EU) and administered by the World Bank,” Pallogan said.
At present, BENECO has three other power plant projects lined up that will give a 33 MW total capacity by 2023 — one of which is a 20 MW hydro plant in Kabayan, Benguet.