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NIA, PNOC to set up 4 mini-hydro plants in Nueva Ecija

December 29, 2012

The government will soon set up mini-hydro plants by tapping as power source the irrigation systems in NIANueva Ecija.

According to National Irrigation Administration (NIA) head Antonio Nangel, his agency has reached an agreement with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to allow private power companies to use irrigation canals to generate power for the Luzon grid.

“We will immediately connect the power that will be produced from these mini-power plants to the nearest electric cooperatives to partly solve power problems in the island,” he said.

He said the increasing frequency of scheduled power outages in selected provinces in Luzon have affected industries connected to the grid.

4 initial sites

NIA has identified four initial sites where the PNOC can build mini-hydro projects that are expected to produce 3,000 kilowatts (KW) of combined power: Munoz (1,000KW), Rizal (1,500 KW), Peñaranda (300 KW) and Maburak (200 KW).

The four sites are all part of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS), which is being managed by NIA.

The PNOC is also looking at constructing two more hydropower plants within the Pampanga River Irrigation System Dam and the Aulo Dam, both in Palayan City, Pampanga.



The Department of Agriculture has also tasked NIA to come up with a list of sites in Mindanao where similar projects are feasible.

Nangel said they will be visiting Mindanao next week to conduct ocular inspection for possible sites in Koronadal City, noting that the PNOC is eyeing to build three hydroplants there to generate as much as 6 megawatts of electricity.

“Mindanao is our priority right now. We will still look for other sites wherein we can build more hydro projects,” he said.

The PNOC is looking at generating as much as 150 megawatts of electricity using the water resources from irrigation systems nationwide in the next two years.

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