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NIA plans to build floating solar power plants on dams, reservoirs

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SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc.’s hydro-power facility in Ramon, Isabela.

The National Irrigation Administration is venturing into floating solar power plant on its dams and reservoirs, the agency said on Wednesday, June 13, as it looks into a proposal from the SN Aboitiz Power group to put up water-based energy project in Magat dam in Isabela.

“Such power group will conduct a 2,500-square meter pilot project over the Magat reservoir, a small-scale preliminary study prior to the performance of the large-scale project. The floating solar power project size is yet to be decided after the study,” it said in a statement.

NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya said that one hectare of solar field can produce one megawatt (MW).

For instance, in Magat dam with a reservoir of 4,500 hectares, if 200 hectares will be utilized for water-based solar power, 200 MW will be generated and 200 hectares of agricultural lands will be saved. — Victor V. Saulon