NIA signs up First Gen

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    The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Lopez-led power generation firm First Gen Hydro Power Corp. to develop a hydroelectric power project at the Aya Dam in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.

    NIA said the agreement will complement the existing Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant through an acceptable scheme under existing laws.

    It said the company has sought its permission to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study of the project, including but not limited to, legal, economic, social, financial and technical viability.

    Earlier this year, NIA called for parties willing to invest in putting up hydroelectric power projects in 379 identified irrigation sites nationwide.

    The agency had said the move is in line with the government’s thrust to develop indigenous and renewable power sources as well as to maximize the utilization of irrigation water by also using it to generate electricity.

    Among the 379 potential hydroelectric power plants, four are already operational: the 8.5 megawatts Maris Main South Canal Hydroelectric Power in Isabela; Rizal Hydropower Plant in Nueva Ecija; Bulanao Mini-Hydropower Plant in Kalinga; and Marbel #1 MHPP in Southern Cotabato.

    NIA also recently partnered with SN Aboitiz Power for a 200-kilowatt floating solar pilot project located in Magat Dam, Isabela.

    NIA is the government agency tasked to develop all possible sources of water for irrigation.