ELECTRICITY retailer Power Beacon Renewable Solutions, Inc. recently broke ground for its hydropower facility in Pangasinan.

The facility is expected to be commercially operational by 2024, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The P750-million Dipalo Hydropower Project has a 415-megawatt capacity and is estimated to generate 18.87 gigawatts of energy annually, which will be used to power the municipalities of San Quintin, Umingan, Tayug and Natividad.

“The project shall be the first major industry in the easternmost part of Pangasinan and will generate renewable and clean energy geared towards improving the lives of the people of San Quintin in support of the thrust of the local government unit,” said Power Beacon Chairman Engr. Armando L. Diaz.

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by representatives and officials from the Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Water Resources Board, and Development Bank of the Philippines.

The project utilizes diversion weir strategy to assure the ecological sustainability of the Dipalo River, and capitalizes on the difference in elevation, measuring 210 meters, to produce enough driving force that turn the turbines combined with electric generators.

The redirected water courses back to the Dipalo River Park and the National Irrigation Administration’s irrigation facility.

The two vertical Pelton turbines, meanwhile, were acquired from Austrian hydropower plant technology provider Global Hydro Energy.

San Quintin Mayor Clark Cecil P. Tiu expressed the municipality’s readiness to cooperate with the project’s development, and said that its constituents will be prioritized for the employment opportunities from the construction.

The hydropower plant is planned to be connected to the Pangasinan III Electric Cooperative and distributed to its consumer base. — Ram Christian S. Agustin