26 January 2022 – With the devastating impact of Typhoon Odette and the trail of destruction that it left across six regions in Visayas and Mindanao, ACEN, formerly AC Energy, launched a series of relief assistance for the affected communities, immediately forming a dedicated crisis management team focused on real-time coordination to directly address issues on the ground.
In true Bayanihan spirit, ACEN, together with the Ayala group’s Brigada ng Ayala program, mobilized teams to cascade food relief, medical supplies, cash donations, and other emergency supplies to communities in Negros and Cebu immediately after the storm’s landfall on December 16, 2021. With the priority to reach as many people in need at the earliest time possible, the relief goods were flown in via helicopters due to the unpassable roads in the typhoon’s aftermath.
ACEN responded to the needs of its own host communities in Negros by setting up charging stations in its solar plants, and installing a water filtration system to provide drinking water to the locals. In Bais City, Negros Oriental, 3,000 families received grocery items, sacks of rice and clean, drinking water. Across the Panay Gulf, ACEN’s Guimaras Wind distributed corrugated GI sheets to 56 families in four barangays whose houses were damaged by the typhoon.
For its own plant employees, ACEN immediately deployed relief packs, drinking water, hygiene kits, clothing, rechargeable fans, power banks, and wifi kits, while also providing cash assistance to help restore homes and support urgent family needs. The company also arranged for mental health consultations and coaching for employees who are in need of the service.
“We stand in solidarity with many of our kababayans, some are our own people, who are reeling from this typhoon’s devastation,” said Gabino Ramon G. Mejia, Executive Director and Head of Plant Operations of ACEN, and President of MonteSol. “We will continue to extend help especially to the most vulnerable, within and outside of our host communities, and we will draw on our own strengths to lend support the best way we can.”
ACEN also allocated funds for the rehabilitation of the Bais province. Together with the Ayala Foundation, the company is preparing plans for the provision of shelter and/or livelihood assistance to the affected areas.
Days after the typhoon’s landfall, ACEN’s 80 MW IslaSol solar farm also restored electricity in the hard-hit province of Negros Occidental by facilitating the temporary connection of Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (NOCECO) to the company’s 12 km 69-kilovolt San Enrique-La Carlota transmission line.
As of January 24, 2022, 66% of the municipalities’ distribution lines in the islands of Cebu-Negros-Panay have been restored. ACEN’s renewable energy power plants in these islands, though curtailed, have been providing the much-needed electricity since December 21, 2021, with the capacity to power over 40,000 households. This allowed for the prioritization of power restoration of hospitals, storage areas for vaccines, banks and other critical areas to enable the continuity of operations amidst the heavy damages brought by the typhoon. The company is continuously coordinating with the DOE to ensure the full dispatch of power to the region after restoration of distribution lines in the island.
ACEN has a total of 143 MW of solar power capacity across Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental generated by its IslaSol, SacaSol and MonteSol projects. The solar farms eliminate approximately 130,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, and have received various regional recognitions – from sustainable energy finance to wholesale electricity spot market compliance.