The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has identified 32 possible sites for mini-hydro power plants in NIA managed irrigation systems, 26 in Luzon, 2 in Visayas and 4 in Mindanao. These sites will have a total capacity of 15,214 KW.
The idea of putting up mini-hydro power plants in irrigation systems came up after NIA Administrator Antonio S. Nangel visited Japan, where he saw mini-hydro power plants installed in irrigation canals. He said that while it can be done in Japan, it can also be done in the Philippines where the same elevation of irrigation canals abounds. Upon his arrival, Administrator Nangel issued Memorandum Circular No. 55 S 2011, to all Regional/Operations Managers of NIA to identify possible sites for mini-hydro power plants in irrigation canals/systems, providing therein guidelines/criteria.
Administrator Nangel said that the project would require installation of turbine engine in irrigation canals to turn it into a mini hydro-power plant. "Our irrigation systems are mostly located in far-flung barangays and putting up this project is a great help to the prospective beneficiaries", he added.