Around 15 kilometers from the heart of Davao City, a small canal some three feet deep leads to an unassuming 75-year-old building at the end of an old gravel road surrounded by a grove of narra and durian.
This is Hedcor’s Talomo Hydro 2B, a run-of-river hydro power facility built by the Americans in 1954 just as Davao City was recovering from the destruction wrought by the Second World War.
Perhaps unknown to its many neighbors in the community of Tugbok, this renewable power facility used to supply a huge chunk of the city’s power needs – lighting homes, commercial establishments, and the city’s budding industrial economy then.
Today, Talomo Hydro 2B, together with its sister plants Talomo Hydros 1, 2, 2A, and 3, supply a small yet still significant portion of the needs of the city’s distribution utility, Davao Light and Power Co. The utility’s peak demand was recorded at 421 MW in 2018.
Back in the 1950s when the demand for power in Davao City was only around 1,500 kilowatts, The Talomo Hydro 2B facility alone supplied around 20 percent of the area’s energy requirement. Today, the facility supplies the needs of 40 to 50 households in the city.
Not only is the Talomo Hydro 2B power plant one of Hedcor’s oldest, but it is also one of its smallest facilities in terms of generating capacity. The plant has a capacity of 0.30 megawatts, but can generate 1.7 million kWh of power annually.
Talomo Hydro 2B now pales in comparison to Hedcor’s other plants. Its Sibulan Hydros and Tudaya Hydros collectively generate 57 MW of renewable energy. Hedcor also started operating its youngest 73.33-MW Manolo Fortich hydropower plant in Bukidnon as of last year.
Hedcor’s Talomo Hydro 2B facility is small when compared with bigger generation facilities such as these other run-of-river systems or Therma South’s 300-MW thermal power plant in Barangay Binugao, Davao City. But the humble plant still contributes to the Mindanao grid, helping meet the power requirements of homes and businesses across the island.
Despite its size, Talomo Hydro 2B is a source of pride for Hedcor and its neighbors in Tugbok.
“We value our assets regardless of size. Whether it’s a facility as small as Talomo Hydro 2B or as big as our youngest plant in Bukidnon, these all contribute to fulfilling our commitment to providing reliable power just the same,” Hedcor President and Chief Operating Officer Carlos Aboitiz said.
More importantly, the presence of the facility in Barangay Tugbok has supported the development of the community over the years. Tugbok enjoys its share of income from Hedcor’s hydropower facilities in the area and benefits from the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects.
“Hedcor has been helping the barangay even before I assumed office. It has been helping the community for decades now,” said Tugbok Proper Barangay Captain Wilfredo Anfone, who assumed office in 2013.
Between 2017 and the present, Anfone revealed that Tugbok Proper has received at least P600,000 as its share from the income of Hedcor’s hydropower facilities in the community. Tugbok Proper’s annual budget for 2018 was pegged at close to P11.4 million while its total population was recorded at 12,581 as of the 2015 census.
The barangay leader said he plans to use the funds for a solar power project that is expected to defray utility expenses, allowing the government unit to allocate their budget for more important items such as improved social and health services.
Hedcor has spent over P1.38 million between 2006 and 2018 for CSR initiatives in Tugbok, a bulk of which was allocated for the construction of a new school building at Tugbok National High School, refurbishment of the barangay daycare center, the annual Brigada Eskwela, college scholarships, and financial assistance for high school students.
“Ever since, Hedcor has always been generous in contributing to the betterment of the barangay,” Anfone said.
Hedcor is the run-of-river hydropower arm of AboitizPower, which operates 21 power facilities in the country with a total gross capacity of 259 MW. AboitizPower, together with its partners, is the Philippines’ largest RE producer from the private sector. To advance business and communities, Hedcor envisions “A Better Future” through Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for clean and renewable energy.