Mindanao is now suffering from power outages lasting up to eight hours in selected areas. Mindanao is short of 357 MW as of February 24. Its generating capacity stood at 863 MW against a peak load of 1,220 MW.

The El Niño weather phenomenon has limited the capabilities of the hydro plants due to the low water levels at reservoirs.

The government reported an 80 percent and 60 percent reduction in the available capacities of the Agus and Pulangi power plants, respectively. The Agus plants are running at 137 MW out of the total rated capacity of 694 MW while Pulangi is operating at 115 MW out of the total rated capacity of 255 MW.

Below are some of the power plant projects in Northern Mindanao but only one (1) is committed and under construction, while the rest are only indicative or as layman’s term – “not sure” or “may or may not proceed because of financial concerns”.

These are:

  1. 8 MW Cabulig Hydroelectric Power Plant by CEPALCO in Claveria, Misamis Oriental;
  2. 5 MW Camiguin Wind Power by EDC – Camiguin [indicative];
  3. 20 MW Bunker Fired Diesel Power Plant by Minergy – Tablon, CDO [indicative];
  4. 17.5 MW Biomass Power Plant by Green Power Cagayan de Oro [indicative];
  5. 225 MW Agus 3 Hydroelectric Power Plant by Lanao Hydropower  Corp. – Lanao del Norte [indicative];
  6. 68 MW Tagoloan Hydroelectric Power Plant – Bukidnon [indicative];
  7. 150 MW Pulangui 5 Hydroelectric Power Plant – Maramag, Bukidnon [being opposed by IPs]; and
  8. 132 MW Batang-Bolanog Hydroelectric Power Plant – Talakag, Bukidnon by NORMECA [being opposed by whitewater rafters assn.]

Another project being planned is a 10 MW Solar Farm by CEPALCO in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental but of course the cost of constructing a solar plant is very expensive.  An 0.11 MW Mini-Hydroelectric Power Plant by Gerphil Renewable Energy, Inc. located in Sumilao, Bukidnon was also announced a few months ago.

There are other power projects proposed for studies or still being studied as indigenous resources as follows:

  1. 0.50 MW Tuasan Mini-Hydroelectric Power Plant in Camiguin;
  2. 0.50 MW Larangan Mini-Hydroelectric Power Plant in Misamis Occidental;
  3. 10 MW Culaman Mini-Hydroelectric Power Plant in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon;
  4. 10 MW Odiongan 3 Mini-Hydroelectric Power Plant in Gingoog City;
  5. 5 MW Odiongan 2 Mini-Hydroelectric Power Plant in Gingoog City; and
  6. 11.9 MW Liangan Hydroelectric Power Plant in Lanao del Norte;

I don’t know what happened to these projects. But with all these problems, the only short term solution will be utilization of power barges. But the consumers will have to “bite the bullet”…that is to have higher costs of electricity due to the use of fossil fuel…which is of course bad for the environment…but some say -“it’s better to have expensive power than having no power at all”.

On the other hand, these power projects will assure investors in the region and the island as a whole…more jobs generation too.

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