The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has provided the Philippine government grants for the construction of two mini hydropower facilities in Ifugao and Isabela.
In a statement, Jica said it had signed the grant agreements with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), to cover two power projects that were expected to help boost renewable energy development in the Philippines.
According to Jica, the proposed run-off river mini hydropower plant in Ifugao is expected to generate about 800 kilowatts, which will help serve about a third of the 2.4-megawatt power demand in the province.
Proceeds from the electricity sales will be used to boost the Rice Terraces Conservation Fund, a trust fund for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces. A Jica Overseas Cooperation Volunteer would be dispatched to help manage the Rice Terraces Conservation Fund.
In the meantime, the mini hydropower project in Isabela will showcase the viability of harnessing hydropower from low-head irrigation canals, which are common throughout the country. Multiple units of 22.5-kW turbines would be utilized.
Based on an earlier report, the Isabela project might have a total capacity of about 150 kW.
Takahiro Sasaki, chief representative of the Jica Philippine Office, expressed his appreciation to the Department of Energy, the National Irrigation Administration and the provincial governments of Ifugao and Isabela for working with Jica experts in the preparatory studies for both project sites.
He also expressed his confidence that all cooperating agencies would continue to work for the project and would keep the facilities in tip-top shape once these become operational.