JICA Funded Mini-Hydro Power Plant Switched-on in Isabela

NIA Administrator Florencio Padernal, DOE Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada, and JICA Representative Eigo Azukizawa during the switching-on of the 45kw mini-hydropower facility in San Mateo, Isabela. The event was witnessed by all the NIA regional irrigation managers (in green hard hats).

SAN MATEO, Isabela  — A 45-kilowatt mini-hydro power plant along an irrigation canal here was switched on November 4, 2014.  Funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the hydro-power facility is constructed along the Lateral B of the Maris Main Canal of the National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System here.

Department of Energy Under Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada, NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal, and JICA Senior Representative of the Economic Growth Section Eigo Azukizawa led the switching on ceremony of the demonstration project which started construction in March and was completed in October this year.

The first of its kind in the country, the project shows that is viable to utilize existing irrigation canals even with small water heads for power generation.

Padernal said that although the new mini-hydropower is not as big as what others expect hydropower projects to be, the significance of the project is enormous.  “NIA would like to replicate such a project in other areas.  That is one of the reasons why all our irrigation managers from the different regions are here,” he said.

The NIA Administrator said that secondary to irrigation, the agency operates and implements hydropower projects in applicable areas.  “In fact, we are planning to bid out over 50 new hydro power projects of various capacities around the Philippines the soonest possible time,” he shared.

Underscretary Monsada said the residents in the community where the facility is located will now have better access to energy. The NIA-MARIIS through its Division II office will be operating and maintaining the new facility.