Rehabilitation and Upgrading of Micro Hydro Plants in the Philippines

Since 1995, several micro-hydro plants have been installed in the province of Abra in the Philippines. However, many of them are now suffering from technical, organisational and financial difficulties. One of our SEPS projects (LINK) aimed to restore and upgrade the Adugao MHP as a demonstration project and to develop a working plan to rehabilitate other power plants in the region.

The Adugao power plant is a small 7.5 KW power system in a remote area in northern Luzon, the Philippines. Before its construction in 2000, neighbouring indigenous communities relied solely on firewood for lighting purposes and had never experienced electric power. 13 years later, the system had started to show major signs of wear and poor maintenance.

In 2015, local partner SIBAT with funding from WISIONS started a rehabilitation programme aiming to restore the potential of the Adugao MHP. Over the last two years, SIBAT has:

 

  • fully restored the power plant, which now operates 24/7
  • avoided system downtime by providing a constant water flow
  • installed a load controller and constructed a reliable concrete canal

Furthermore, a tariff system suited to the local economic context has been established. For example, people in need can pay for the service by in-kind payments of rice, which follows the local tradition of sharing. A potentially self-sustaining maintenance and management team has also been put in place.

The successful project development demonstrates that access to energy can be acquired and sustained through a community-based approach in which the local population formulates and enforces policies to manage and care for an energy system.

More general information on this project is available here: Rehabilitation and Upgrading of an Existing Micro Hydro Power Project in the Province of Abra, the Philippines

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