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INCREASING POWER SUPPLY

PH goes ‘tech neutral’ in new energy projects

/ 12:42 AM May 03, 2017
The Ambuklao Dam in Benguet province is one of the clean sources of energy in the country. —EV ESPIRITU

The Ambuklao Dam in Benguet province is one of the clean sources of energy in the country. —EV ESPIRITU

RAMON, ISABELA—Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said his agency was pursuing a “technology neutral” program for developing more power facilities, to increase supply without raising the cost of electricity.

“Technology neutral” means that the Department of Energy has no preferred technology when it approves new power plant projects.

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But Cusi said renewable energy, or power plants that harness water, wind and solar energy, now represented 32 percent of the country’s total energy mix, which was higher than most countries in Asia.

Cusi was here last week when he toured Magat Dam during the 10th anniversary of SN Aboitiz Power-Magat Inc., the operator of the Magat hydroelectric plant.

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Cusi said the Magat plant was “a nexus of water, food and electricity,” which should be emulated by other sustainable energy projects.

The anniversary celebration was also graced by Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner.

SNAP-Magat, a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower, took over the Magat plant in April 2007. The plant straddles Ramon town in Isabela province and Alfonso Lista town in Ifugao province.

The plant draws water from Magat Dam, which also irrigates 85,000 hectares of agricultural land in Cagayan Valley region.

The plant generates 380 megawatts of electricity. The company is completing an 8.5-MW run-of-river hydropower plant along Maris Canal at Barangay Ambatali in Ramon before the end of the year.

Joseph Yu, SNAP president and chief operating officer, said the company has rededicated itself to “contributing to the sustainability not only of our business, but also of our environment, host communities and partners.” —VILLAMOR VISAYA JR.

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TAGS: Ambuklao Dam, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi
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