By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Lopez-led First Gen Hydro Power Corporation (FG Hydro) have signed a deal that will pave the way for the construction of another hydroelectric power facility in Pantabangan in Nueva Ecija, which is home to one of the largest dams in Asia.
To be specific, NIA and First Gen forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a hydroelectric power project at the Aya Dam located in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
The MOU will complement First Gen’s existing Pantabangan-Masiway Hydroeletric Power Plant through an acceptable scheme under existing laws, such as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (Republic Act No. 9513), among others.
It was in 2006 when First Gen won the bidding for the then 112-megawatt (MW) Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant complex (Pantabangan-Masiway). FG Hydro has since then completed a rehabilitation program for the Pantabangan plant that increased Pantabangan-Masiway’s total capacity to 132 MW
According to power and consulting firm Entura, Pantabangan Dam and Aya Dam impound Pantabangan Lake, which is considered one of the largest reservoirs in Southeast Asia and is critical for irrigation as well as for power generation.