Solar-powered irrigation systems in Zamboanga City, Kalinga completed, reports NIA

Published September 23, 2020, 6:04 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Two solar-powered irrigation systems worth P6.78 million have been completed in Zamboanga City and Kalinga province, according to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

NIA recently completed a solar-powered irrigation project worth P5-million in Barangay Mercedes, Zamboanga City. It is considered the first solar-powered irrigation to be built in Zamboanga Peninsula.

It is powered by 28 solar panels that can discharge approximately 200 gallons of water per minute. It can pump an average of six cubic meters in six hours. 

The system is also equipped with surveillance cameras and fortified with security fence to ensure utmost safety and security measures. 

The post-construction test run was successfully conducted on Sept. 15.

Once operational, the solar pump irrigation project can irrigate five hectares of agricultural land in the barangay, benefitting poorly irrigated and rain-dependent farmers in the area.

NIA has also turned over the P1.78-million Romualdez Solar Pump Irrigation Project to Sitio Aba Irrigators Association in the municipality of Rizal, Kalinga province last Sept. 4.

Funded under NIA’s Establishment of Groundwater Pump Irrigation Project, the irrigation system can irrigate six hectares of agricultural land in the municipality, benefitting 15 farmers and their families. 

The project is powered by 30 solar panels and installed with a 7.5-horsepower submersible pump lowered to a depth of 52 meters.

NIA said that with nine to 10 hours of operation in a day, the solar pump can provide a minimum water discharge of 200,000 liters per day. 

Similarly, two units of reservoir tanks were constructed to store water from the solar pump.

The project uses the power of the sun to move water, without the need for grid power or diesel, which can equate to P270,000 in annual savings at P75 per hour in electricity bills, the NIA said.