Renewable energy plant to rise in Isabela

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ILAGAN CITY, Isabela: Solar and biomass power plants in Cauayan City and Alicia town are expected to start their full-blown operation in the coming months to supplement the region’s high energy demand.

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The planned online solar power plant in Cauayan City is capable supplying at least 20 megawatts while the biomass power plant in Alicia can produce another 20 megawatts. Both systems provide clean and renewable energy.

Undersecretary Zenaida Mon-sada of the Department of Energy (DOE) said the P2 billion power facility established by the Isabela Biomass Energy Corporation (IBEC) would not only augment power supply in Cagayan Valley but would also help contribute to healthy environment.

“The use of biomass as fuel makes the power plant carbon neutral and sustainable. The plant is also expected to produce 100 percent renewable energy that does not harm the environment,” Monsada said.

He said the biomass power facility in Isabela is the first in the region and is expected to provide economical source of energy as well as job opportunities to residents of the host town.

In Cauayan, officials said the city government is partnering with Korean investors to put up the 20-megawatt solar power plant.

They said this would augment energy produced from hydro-electric energy especially during summer when the rivers run dry and water provided by the dam is not enough to run the day’s water turbines.

City Planning and Development Officer Oliver Francisco said some South Korean investors who visited the city recently had signified their intention to invest in a multi-million dollar solar power plant here.

He said the solar farm will be constructed in a 24-hectare land in the village of Tagaran in the city.

“We are finalizing the draft feasibility study and once it is completed, the construction is expected to start in the next seven months,” Francisco said.

He said the city government would also benefit in the proposed project as it is expected to supply continuous power to the city and other government installations such as health facilities, city hall and the coliseum.

“We know that during summer, there is bulk of power demands, and to prevent the effect of brownouts as a result, the city government here is pushing for additional power source using renewable energy,” Francisco said.

Meanwhile, the government-administered irrigation agency is implementing a rotational irrigation water supply scheme in the Lower Magat irrigation system in Isabela as a result of the absence of rainfall in the previous weeks.

Officials of the National Irrigation Administration—Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-MRIIS) said they are adopting the scheme due to the “continuous drop” of water level of Magat Dam which is now at 176 meters or one meter above the normal level.

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