Hedcor Inc., the hydro unit of Aboitiz Power Corp. said it will continue operating the three Benguet hydro power plants to boost power capacity in the grid after receiving an advice from the Department of Energy.
“We recognize the concerns of our Bakun IP community and our doors remain open for dialogue. We believe that the tongtongan is crucial to the resolution of this issue, not only to protect the welfare of our IPs/ICCs [indigenous peoples], but also to fulfill our contribution to ensuring the availability and reliability of power supply for the country,” said Noreen Vicencio, Hedcor vice president for corporate services, in a statement.
The DOE, in a letter dated”¯ June 25, advised Hedcor to continue operating the FLS Hydro, Lon-oy Hydro and Lower Labay Hydro run-of-river hydropower plants in Bakun. “¯
Hedcor was earlier given five days to wind down the operations of the three power plants following the issuance of the cease-and-desist order by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in Cordillera on June 22.
The DOE underscored its mandate pursuant to”¯the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 “to ensure the quality, reliability, security, and affordability of the supply of electric power especially during this period of health pandemic.””¯
It advised Hedcor to continue operating the Lower Labay, Lon-oy and FLS hydropower plants given the “shortage of available capacity from the grid caused by the unavailability of large power plants as well as derated operation of operating power plants aside from the high system peak demand due to high ambient temperature.””¯