June 24, 2017, 3:05 am
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NIA taps irrigation sites for hydropower

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is keen on developing hydropower projects in irrigation sites across the country, aside from providing sustainable and efficient irrigation services.

 NIA said based on its previous studies, there are 357 potential irrigation sites for hydropower.

 Earlier this week, NIA administrator Ricardo Visayasigned a memorandum of agreement with Nascent Technologies Corp. to develop and construct the 400 kilowatts (KW) Barit irrigation discharge hydroelectric power plant, pegged at P27.6 million. 

Visaya has also cited the one megawatt (MW) Rizal hydropower project in the Pampanga river irrigation system in Nueva Ecija as one of the successful partnerships in hydropower development projects which started its commercial operation this year.

 “This is part of the continuous effort of the agency to support the administration in providing more renewable energy sources that will not only boost NIA’s income but also will contribute to the provision of electricity in far-flung communities in the country,” Visaya said. 

NIA’sother ongoing hydropower projects include the 8.5 MW Maris Main (South) Canal hydroelectric power in Isabela with target commercial operation in February 2018, Marbel # 1 mini hydropower project in South Cotabato and Butao irrigation drop mini hydropower project in Pangasinan.

 Under negotiations are the 630 KW Munoz hydropower project in upper Pampanga river integrated irrigation system in Nueva Ecija, 1 MW Bulanao mini-hydropower plant in Chico river irrigation system in Kalinga, 3.6 MW Addalam hydroelectric project in Quirino and the Agno RIS main canal in Pangasinan.

 Visaya assured farmers that the mini hydropower plants will not affect the irrigation as the water will just pass thru the irrigation canal.

“There is no conflict with power generation and irrigation. It is just a matter of getting the most out of our water resource. We are optimistic that this endeavor will take off and will ensure smooth implementation and optimum results,” he explained.

 He added the project is aligned with Presidential Decree No. 552, Section 2C dated Sept. 11, 1974, which gives NIA the directive to achieve optimum utilization and control of water resources primarily for irrigation purposes, secondarily for hydraulic power development and for domestic water supply and others.
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