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Mini-hydro plant augments Sorsogon’s power supply

A mini-hydropower facility developed by Sunwest Water and Electric Co. Inc. (SUWECO) has started augmenting power supply being fed into the distribution network of Sorsogon II Electric Cooperative.

This was following the completion of testing and commissioning of the 600-kilowatt Cawayan Upper mini-hydro power plant sited in Guinlajon, Sorsogon City.

According to the project developer, the electricity generation potential of the facility could reach an average 2.786 gigawatt per hour on an annualized basis.

SUWECO president Jose Silvestre M. Natividad said “the power plant started to generate and distribute power to SORECO II mid-August (this year).”

For the electric cooperative, general manager Percival G. Alvarez emphasized that the mini-hydro plant’s generation “is a significant contribution” to the utility’s peak demand of 12.406 megawatts.

The project development pact for the Cawayan Upper mini-hydro facility considerably entails a joint venture, with SUWECO taking responsibility on “the rehabilitation, development and operation of the power plant;” while the EC is the capacity off-taker.

SUWECO has been establishing itself as a key player in the smaller scale developments of hydropower facilities as well as other renewable energy (RE) technologies.

Natividad noted that for now, their priority “is to develop the hydro potentials and help electric cooperatives to rehabilitate and improve on their existing generating capacities.”

He stressed that they would pursue projects “regardless of size,” anchoring such on business belief that even smaller developments could set off ripple effect that can consequently uplift economic prospects in communities – through all the direct and indirect benefits being flowed to the host sites.