Hedcor, Inc. said that the reliability of the overall operations of its hydro plants improved in 2020 as unplanned outages ran for a shorter period despite posting a slightly lower annual generation rate.

In a press release issued on Feb. 4, Hedcor said that it had an unplanned outage factor of 0.73%, which it described as its “best record in the past five years.”

“This emphasizes the steady improvement of Hedcor’s plant reliability as it recorded the lowest number of unexpected shutdowns of its hydropower units in recent memory,” the Aboitiz Power Corp. unit said.

In an e-mail exchange with BusinessWorld, Hedcor explained that the unplanned outage factor is a metric that indicates the fraction of time that a plant or unit is shut down due to an unscheduled outage. 

“The unplanned outage factor of 2020 at 0.73% is lower as compared to that of 2019 at 0.87%,” it said, adding that the lower the figure is, “the higher the reliability of our hydropower plants.”

“While we had to work with a leaner workforce in facility quarantine, we were able to work around the limitations through proper communication, maximization of digital platforms, and simplification of processes,” Assistant Vice-President for Operations in Luzon Rey Rafael was quoted as saying in a statement.

Last year, Hedcor also recorded an annual generation rate of 956 gigawatt hours (GWh). “This is able to power around 400,000 households across the country, year-round,” it said in the press release. 

On e-mail, Hedcor said that its generation rate in 2020 was 8 GWh lower compared with the 2019 level.

“Hedcor’s 2020 generation of 956 GWh is lower as compared to 2019’s 964 GWh. Over 60% of the decrease was due to the insufficient water supply. Some 40% was attributed to planned and unplanned outages,” Hedcor said.

Hedcor said it was able to take a big step towards digital operations by launching its first regional control center in Southern Mindanao. The control center allowed for nine hydro facilities in Davao del Sur and Davao City to be remotely operated.

“For 2021, the main objective is… even safer, more reliable and highly available operations,” Assistant Vice President for Operations in Mindanao Leo Lungay said in a statement.

Hedcor, which manages and operates 22 hydropower plants across the country, supplies the Philippines with a total of 278 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. — Angelica Y. Yang