RENEWABLE ENERGY (RE) company BPE Corp. (BPEC) is gearing up to conduct feasibility studies for micro-hydropower systems at 20 potential sites across Bulacan, Davao, and Pangasinan provinces, the company’s president said on Tuesday.

“We’re going to start our [feasibility studies] this month in Pangasinan…, Bulacan, and in several irrigation systems in Davao,” BPEC President Frits T. Delgado told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of a water investment forum.

BPEC is a renewable energy company based in Pasig backed by BlueCap Hydro Group of Hague, Netherlands.

Mr. Delgado said that the micro-hydro systems have a projected investment of P25 million per site, with an estimated total capacity of 1.4 to 2 megawatts.

Micro-hydro power plants are compact systems, usually ranging from 1 to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity, that generate electricity by using the natural movement of water.

“Of course, when you streamline the mobilization, that will decrease by a lot so it’s all about planning because these are projects separate from each other,” he said.

The company still needs to pitch the projects to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) if it intends to proceed with the construction of the micro-hydro projects, with an estimated construction timeline of two to three years.

Mr. Delgado said that feasibility studies are in addition to the pilot installation of a micro-hydro power system at the weir of the Angat-Maasim River system in the municipality of Angat, Bulacan, in partnership with the NIA.

These 20 sites will be the start of a real feasibility study that will now bring in investor interest while we deal with the offtake,” he said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera