A renewable energy company launched its project to build a 19.7-megawatt run-of-river hydropower system by signing a memorandum of agreement with the local governments of Isabela Province and Echague town on Wednesday.
The planned hydropower system will be put up in San Miguel village in Echague town along the Ilaguen River.
Rio Norte Hydro Corporation (RNHC) officers led by Executive Vice President Manolo Candelaria, Echague Mayor Francis Faustino Dy, Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III, and San Miguel Barangay Captain Efren Santiago signed the memorandum for the project.
“This hydro project is a welcome development in our municipality as it is expected to bring down the cost of electricity for my constituents as well as generate a host of beneficial programs,” Dy said.
Clarence Jandoc, RNHC Vice-President for Legal and Government Affairs, said the run-of-river power generation is considered one of the most environment-friendly energy methods available as it harnesses the natural flow of water to generate electricity.
“The project produces nearly no greenhouse emissions,” Jandoc added.
The project is expected to supply 85 million kilowatts of energy per year to the cities of Cauayan and Santiago including the municipalities of Alicia, Angadanan, Cabatuan, Cordon, Echague, Jones, Luna, Ramon, Reina Mercedes, San Agustin, San Guillermo, San Isidro, and San Mateo.
Jandoc said the project does not end with the development and construction of the hydropower project. To help the community, RNHC is also undertaking the development of an eco-tourism road and several community programs in the area, he added.
“We will upgrade the existing provincial road into an ‘all-weather road’ that will extend into a municipal road going toward the majestic Ilaguen River,” he said.
Jandoc pledged to launch various social development programs in Echague to bring about sustainable livelihood and educational opportunities.
Residents of Barangay San Miguel, the community which will host hydropower system, lauded the benefits they will gain.
“On behalf of the community, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Rio Norte for this additional support,” San Miguel Barangay Captain Efren Santiago said.
“The road project will help improve our access to basic services like healthcare, market, and schools. Once it is complete, we will be able to transport our products to the marketplace faster,” he added.
“We are also looking forward to more livelihood and employment opportunities for the barangays. It’s wonderful that Rio Norte is now our neighbor,” he said.
Jandoc said he project is in keeping with the company’s commitment to inclusive growth. “Empowering communities is the key to creating a healthy environment and an inclusive society.” he said.
“We are thankful for the welcome and steadfast support from the municipality and the province. We hope that our hydropower project will serve as a catalyst for economic development in Echague and will contribute to the entire province’s sustained growth. Wherever we go, we make sure to deliver this same commitment to help the community,” he added. (PNA)
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