NIA chief envisions development of Magat Dam into a renewable energy complex

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, July 1  (PIA) - - The administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has envisioned Magat Dam Reservoir located in Ramon, Isabela as a renewable energy complex following the ceremonial switch-on of the pilot floating solar power project that was recently installed in the area.

NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya discusses his plans to develop Magat Dam as renewable energy complex. (by NIA-MARIIS)

Retired General Ricardo R. Visaya, administrator, said it is one of the thrusts of the present administration to explore potential renewable energy sources to increase the power supply for the country.

The Magat Dam was originally established for irrigation system but it was also developed into a hydro-power plant that generates 360 megawatt electricity.

Exploring the potential of the reservoir, NIA and SN Aboitiz Power have ventured into floating solar power project which will serve as an additional power generating plant that will support the electricity being generated by the hydro-power plant.

“This is a pilot project. We will still study its potential to generate higher volume of power supply that will eventually lower the cost of electricity that is distributed to the households and commercial establishments,” Visaya said.

Floating panels

The 52-meter floating ring has 732 solar panels. It has the capacity to generate 200-kilowatt of electricity for SNAP-Magat facilities.

The floating solar-power plant at Magat Dam, Ramon, Isabela. (by NIA-MARIIS)

Administrator Visaya said, if it will be successful, they will expand the floating solar power plant by increasing its potential area to 450 hectares which can generate up to 4,500 megawatt of electricity.

“If we will be successful in the installation of the solar power, this will be the second largest power generation plant in the country, next to Caliraya,” Visaya said.

Enviromental benefits

Visaya further said the solar power will not only benefit the electric consumers, it will also help prevent fast deceleration of water level as it prevents evaporation of the dam water and will maintain a good fish habitat.

He also said it will prevent conversion of agricultural land into solar power fields as it needs hectares of plain lowland areas to install solar panels for a commercial solar power plant.

The administrator also said they will study other potentials of the Magat Dam reservoir in producing other renewable energy source. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)


Friday, July 5, 2019