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Establishing hydropower plants: Way to reduce energy crisis

Energy needs in the world, not only in the Philippines, have skyrocketed over the centuries.

Last month, rotational blackouts were experienced in Luzon due to insufficient power supply.

This is due to high temperatures and high demand for energy from the consuming public.

Bad news is that the cause of the insufficient power supply, which are overpopulation, overconsumption, and environmental factors, are already the present issues affecting the energy crisis that cannot be avoided.

However, the good news is that there are ways to reduce the energy crisis, which include energy conservation and efficiency and transition to renewable energy sources.

NIA Administrator Ret. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, who led the inauguration ceremony of the power plant, said the power plant, which reuses the water from the Butao Irrigation Drop, can generate up to 1.35 megawatts.

“It’s very timely today, dahil marami po tayong pagkukulang sa kuryente at ito ay makapagko-contribute ng about 0.006 percent, maliit lang pero makatutulong,” Visaya said.

He said under the Presidential Decree 522, NIA was given authority to develop not only irrigation systems but also hydropower and water for domestic use.

The Butao Irrigation Drop is part of the Agno River Integrated System (ARIS) being managed by NIA.

Visaya said the ARIS, which is a 44-kilometer canal, has four irrigation drops that has potentials to be optimized and two of the said canals can  generate over six megawatts which can be more profitable and become one of the income generating projects of the government.

“Wala itong epekto sa irrigation dahil dadaan lang ito at babalik sa ating canals, so walang nasasayang na tubig,” Visaya said.

He said there are more than 350 dams and reservoirs managed by NIA that have potential for renewable energy like hydropower and solar power.

NIA Administrator Ret. Gen. Ricardo Visaya (left), together with MGC Vice President Atty. Jose Soncuya (right) switch on the water turbine generator during the inauguration of the hydroelectric power plant.

In the Philippines, the government in partnership with concerned private individuals and corporations are working together to make use of the renewable resources to contribute to the solution of the energy crisis.

Just recently in the province of Pangasinan, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) together with the Mindoro Grid Corporation (MGC) inaugurated a hydroelectric power plant to augment power supply in the Luzon grid.

NIA Administrator Ret. Gen. Ricardo Visaya (third from left) led the ribbon cutting of the water turbine generator (back) during the inauguration of the 1.35 megawatt Butao Hydroelectric Plant in San Manuel town.

“We have also opened our reservoirs for floating solar power. Thousands of hectares of reservoirs can be used to install floating solar,” Visaya said, adding that NIA has already switched on pilot solar projects  Magat reservoir, soon in Pantabangan and the rest of the country, especially in Bohol.

Likewise, MGC Vice President Atty. Jose Soncuya, said the energy crisis is one of the country’s equally important problems aside from poverty.

“It is our vision and hope that this hydropower plant would contribute solutions to our energy problems and to the economic upliftment of our nation as a whole,” Soncuya said.

The Butao Hydroelectric Power Plant is located in Sitio Butao, Barangay Guiset Sur in San Manuel town. (JCR/VHS/EMSA/PIA Pangasinan)

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Elsha Marie Arguel


Region 1

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