Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NIA switches on JICA-funded mini-hydro power plant in Isabela

SAN MATEO, Isabela  -- The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) led the switching-on ceremony of the 45-kilowatt mini-hydro power plant along an irrigation canal here earlier this month on November 4, 2014.

Funded by JICA, the hydro-power facility is constructed along Lateral, District 2 of the NIA-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS) here. The newly inaugurated facility can benefit 45 households with an individual consumption of 1000 watts.

NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal, Department of Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada, 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.

Padernal said that although the new mini-hydropower is not as big as what others expect, the significance of the project is enormous.  “NIA would like to replicate such projects 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. 

Undersecretary Monsada said the residents in the community where the facility is located will now have better access to energy.
The first of its kind in the country, the project shows that it is viable to utilize existing irrigation canals even with small water heads for power generation.

The NIA-MARIIS, through its Division II office, will be operating and maintaining the new facility.  

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NIA Administrator Florencio F. Padernal (2nd from L) and MARIIS Operations Manager Mariano G. Dancel (1st from R) accompany DOE Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada (3rd from L) and JICA Senior Representative of the Economic Growth Sector Eigo Azukizawa (2nd from R) in opening the gates of the new 45KW JICA-funded mini-hydro power facility along Lateral B of the MARIS Main Canal in San Mateo Isabela.  With them is DOE Director Mario C. Marasigan.

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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).

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