A NEWLY-ESTABLISHED energy generation cooperative targets to put up a 20-megawatt (mw) hydropower plant by the Agusan River, in line with their advocacy to use renewable energy in Mindanao.
One Mindanao Energy (Mine) Cooperative Federation Chairman Edgardo Silagan, during the weekly press conference at Habi at Kape, Abreeza Ayala Malls, said they had already submitted a letter of intent to the Department of Energy (DOE) regarding their proposed 20-mw hydropower plant in Agusan.
Silagan added since their federation is still on its formative stage, they are still looking for more cooperative-members in Mindanao who are willing to support them in their endeavor.
Currently, they partnered and consulted with the Engineering and Development Corporation of the Philippines (Edcop) in terms of the paper works and the technicalities of their intended project.
Silagan said they have also applied for water rights of the Agusan River.
“We just hope that the resources in Mindanao will be managed by the Mindanaoans. This Federation is still recruiting a lot of members because there are more or less 10,000 cooperatives in Mindanao, with more or less 8 million members that will be benefited to this project,” Silagan said.
Although they have original plans of putting up a 5-mw, 12-mw, and a 20-mw hydropower plant in Agusan, the submitted letter of intent to DOE only covers the 20-mw first.
Silagan said they understand the how expensive the cost of this project would be, adding they estimated they would need around US$700 million.
“The original intent is to actually mobilize money from the cooperators themselves. It’s like putting power right into the hands of the consumers. So it’s going to be the consumers themselves who will be investors, not just in the electric distribution, but we will extend that to power generation as well,” chief executive officer (CEO) of Model Cooperative Network Rhoda Pillerin said.
She added they have previously calculated that if each consumer will become a member of the cooperative and will just contribute P1,000 in capital, the coop will have enough capital to buy the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex for Mindanao.
Pillerin said they are now on the stages of looking and encouraging more members to their cooperatives.
The Agusan River hydropower project is planned to be realized within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on April 20, 2017.
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