RIO NORTE Hydro Corp. will soon develop a 19.7-megawatt (MW) run-of-river hydropower project along the Ilaguen river in Echague, Isabela province.
The subsidiary of Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. signed the memorandum of agreement with officials of Isabela province and Echague town for the project that is aimed at supplying renewable energy to benefit thousands of homes in Isabela.
The project in Brgy. San Miguel is expected to help bring down electricity rates in the community once it is fully operational.
The hydro project is expected to supply 85 million kilowatts of energy yearly to the cities of Cauayan and Santiago, and the municipalities of Alicia, Angadanan, Cabatuan, Cordon, Echague, Jones, Luna, Ramon, Reina Mercedes, San Agustin, San Guillermo, San Isidro and San Mateo.
“We will upgrade the existing provincial road from Brgy. Mabbayad to Brgy. San Miguel into an ‘all-weather road’ that will extend into a municipal road going toward the majestic Ilaguen River,” Clarence Jandoc, Rio Norte Hydro’s vice-president for legal and government affairs, said in a statement.
The run-of-river hydro facility relies on gravity and harnesses the flow and elevation drop of the river in the mountainous area to move turbines and generate electricity.
It diverts some of the water into a pipe going downhill to a powerhouse, from which the water is returned to the river. The course of the river is not materially altered and no community becomes submerged, Rio Norte Hydro said.
“It is one of the most environment-friendly energy sources available as it produces nearly no greenhouse gas emissions,” it added.
Citicore Renewable Energy currently has a total capacity of 163 MW from its existing eight solar farms in Bataan, Bulacan, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Pampanga and South Cotabato, the company said. It is part of the Citicore Power, Inc. group of companies, which develops power and water projects in the country. — V.V. Saulon