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NIA looks beyond irrigation, eyes hydroelectric power projects


By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has revealed plans to build more hydropower projects on its existing and future irrigation systems all over the country.

NIA said there are about 357 potential irrigation sites for hydropower.

This means that NIA, aside from providing sustainable and efficient irrigation services, can actually be an active partner in power generation.

NIA Administrator Ricardo Visaya earlier this week led the signing of a memorandum of agreement with Nascent Technologies Corp. for the development and construction of the P27.6-million Barit Irrigation Discharge Hydroelectric Power Plant in Buhi, Camarines Sur.

The mini-hydropower project could generate 400 kilowatts or 0.4 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Visaya also cited the Rizal Hydropower Project as one of the successful partnerships in hydropower development projects.

The 1.0-MW hydropower facility, which is located near the main canal of Pampanga River Irrigation System in Nueva Ecija, started its commercial operation this year.

“This is part of the continuous effort of the agency to support the administration in providing more renewable energy sources that will not just only boost NIA’s income but also will contribute to the provision of electricity in far-flung communities in the country,” he said.

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