NIA Central Office – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) ventures to floating solar power project on its dams and reservoirs as the SN Aboitiz Power Group has already proposed a water-based solar power project in Magat Dam in Isabela which features solar panels fixed to floats on the water surface.
Such power group will conduct a 2,500-square meter pilot project over the Magat reservoir, a small-scale preliminary study prior to the performance of the large-scale project. The floating solar power project size is yet to be decided after the study.
The result of NIA’s research shows that this water-based solar power project is more beneficial than the land-based one which converts large portion of agricultural lands into solar plants, making irrigable farmlands smaller. This results to the decrease in food production and poses a threat to the country’s food security. It also defeats NIA’s purpose of constructing and developing more irrigation systems in the country to ensure rice self-sufficiency. Instead of indulging into land-based solar project, NIA thus offers its dams and reservoirs for the water-based project which can achieve the same purpose of increasing power production while saving agricultural lands.