The Department of Energy (DOE) is optimistic more hydro energy projects will be encouraged with the scheduled start of operations of the 8 megawatts (MW) Matuno River Development Corp. (MRDC) power plant in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya before the end of the year.
“The DOE welcomes more development of hydropower resources in the country. This site-specific resource supports the country’s transition towards a cleaner and more secure energy future,” said DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi, in a statement.
Based on data from the DOE, hydro power plant projects that have been committed or have secured key permits and financing as of the first half of 2021 totalled 221.60 MW, 113.06 MW of which are in Luzon, 39.10 MW in Visayas and 69.43 MW in Mindanao.
As of end-2020, total installed capacity of hydro power plants hit 3,779 MW, less than a percent growth from 2019’s 3,760 MW.
MRDC’s run-of-river hydro power plant located along Matuno River, a tributary of the Magat Dam which has a large watershed area of 590 square kilometers, will feed much-needed additional power to the Luzon grid while also providing irrigation to farmers in the region.
The project which will be connected to the Bayombong substation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines is equipped with European technology from Global Hydro Energy GmbH in Austria.
“The company is very much optimistic and bullish in our push for green energy which we are proud to say, defies the limitations of the current pandemic and its restrictions,” said Armando Diaz, MRDC president, in a statement.
Diaz said the project will hire locals.
The company will also engage in tree-planting activities and feeding programs and will coordinate with Gawad Kalinga and other peoples’ organizations to plan future projects for the area.
MRDC is a project company under Magis Energy Holdings Corp., a local firm established in 2019 to seek opportunities in the renewable energy sector, particularly in underserved rural communities.
Magis Energy also owns the 16 MW Taft Hydro Energy Corp. that will soon operate in Eastern Samar.