Will harness the waters of Ibulao River, traditionally considered birthplace of Ifugao peoples
Last to be developed among Alternergy’s portfolio of run-of-river hydro projects in Ifugao
The Ibulao River has borne witness to many changes over its long lifetime. It was present when the valley of Kay-yang (modern Kiangan) housed its first human settlers. According to Ifugao myth, these were the fertile valleys that the sky god Wigan beheld and sent his children to populate, who would then go on to sire the modern Ifugao people. Today, the Ibulao River is not only a culturally important lynchpin of the Ifugao people, but also a core component of Alternergy’s run-of-river hydro projects.
The 7.4 MW Ibulao2 Run-of-River Hydro Project of Ibulao Mini Hydro Corporation (IMHC) is the last to be developed among Alternergy’s generation projects in the Ifugao region. The Project will harness the flow of water from the Ibulao River with an estimated annual generation of 31.92 GWh.
Preparing the Way
In 2013, Alternergy took over development of the Ibulao2 Hydro Project and in 2016, the Department of Energy assigned the Hydro Service Contract to IMHC. Since then, IMHC has completed several technical studies, among them a Comprehensive Feasibility Study, a Hydrology Revalidation, an Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment, Early Detailed Engineering Works, Ecological Study and Sustainability Plan, and Preliminary Detailed Engineering Design. The hydrology and energy generation were further revalidated by AFRY, the Swedish energy consultancy firm.
All Alternergy projects are only undertaken with the support of host communities. Local governments have expressed support for the Ibulao2 Hydro Project, with endorsements from the Sangguniang Barangay of Bolog of Kiangan and Caba of Lagawe, supplemented with the endorsements from the two Sangguniang Bayan of Kiangan and Lagawe.
Any hydro project in ancestral domains by Alternergy will only be pursued with the prior informed consent of the local indigenous peoples. Field based investigation has been completed and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process has commenced to determine the acceptable agreement with the host indigenous committees, to be negotiated in collaboration with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
After road right-of-way and land lease options have been obtained by IMHC, the Ibulao2 Hydro Project will improve existing roads in the area with construction of a 3km permanent access road to connect the weir site to the powerhouse. Unpaved barangay and municipal roads in proximity of the powerhouse are also expected to be improved and widened. Once the system impact study and connection agreement have been finalized by IMHC, the Ibulao2 Hydro Project will construct a 5km transmission line from Brgy. Caba in Lagawe to connect to NGCP’s 69kv transmission line in Brgy. Bolog in Kiangan.
A Lighter Footprint
The Ibulao2 Hydro Project’s ecologically-sound design ensures that the way of life of the river valley communities of Kiangan and Lagawe will not change in any way. When the Initial Environment Checklist by Gaia South is concluded, it would lead to IMHC applying for an Environment Clearance Certificate. With more environment studies underway, permits for special forest land use and tree cutting will follow. In line with Alternergy’s commitment to a greener planet, plans will be laid out for protecting the watersheds through tree planting and reforestation activities.
When the Ibulao2 Hydro Project is finally completed, Alternergy would have created a cluster of sustainable infrastructure to co-exist for decades with the ancient rice terraces of Ifugao.
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