8 mini-hydro plants in Rodriguez, Marikina approved

The Energy Department has awarded Hydrotec Renewables Inc. eight renewable service contracts, including small hydro- power projects along Marikina river and its tributaries, with a combined capacity of up to 30 megawatts and total investments of as much as P2.7 billion.

The company, 40 percent owned by German investors, said in a statement the mini hydro projects are located in Rodriguez City (Sitio Wawa, San Isidro and San Jose), San Mateo, Marikina City (Tumana and Nangka 4) and Antipolo City (Hinulugang Taktak and Nangka 1).

The company will invest P2.3 billion to P2.7 billion ($53 million to $62 million) on the combined 30-MW projects. The turn-key project cost per MW are around P90 million.

Hannes Mueller, Hydrotec director, said the hydro projects with a combined installed capacity of 25 MW to 30 MW would contribute environment-friendly and clean energy to the Luzon grid or the Manila Electric Co. franchise area. They will also significantly contribute to a much more efficient flood control along the Marikina river system.

He said site preparation works for construction at three sites were ongoing.  Depending on weather conditions, the construction period for a hydro power plant is estimated at six to eight months. The company plans to complete all eight hydro projects by 2016.

“The electro-mechanical equipment like hydro turbines, generators, control boards, hydrological equipment will be manufactured in Germany, which guarantees us, highest efficiency and a lifetime of over 50 years,” he said.

Mueller said a real time, satellite connected weather forecast system would be installed at of each of Hydrotec’s hydropower plants.

He said the satellite weather forecast system would improve significantly the efficiency and operation of each hydropower plant by giving a precise, 72-hour forecast about any meteorological events like storms, typhoons, direction and speed of wind and clouds and amount of rainfall.

“All data will be available at no costs for the hosting LGUs [local government units] and will improve any weather forecast, warning from floods, storms, heavy rainfalls or typhoons,” he said.

The company plans to install efficient trash racks that will remove waste and garbage materials from the rivers.

The host LGUs will receive 1 percent of the gross income as required by the Renewable Energy Law. Hydrotec also committed a donation or investment equivalent to 5 percent of the annual profit to be used for ecological, environmental [reforestation] and social projects.

“The design of our hydros will reduce flood events along Marikina River, Metro Manila and Laguna de Bay and save billions of pesos of costs which had to be spent yearly by the provincial and national government for any consequences resulting out of floods,” Mueller said.

The company has received permits from local government units to build the hydro projects.

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