There was a buzz around the Maris Main Canal 1 Hydro Power House as the Maris team started testing and commissioning Unit 1 of the 8.5-megawatt hydropower plant, which synchronized successfully to the grid on October 14.
This means that Unit 1 is now injecting power into the grid while completing online tests to fulfill Philippine Grid Code requirements for a new generator. With this milestone, Maris hydro is on its way to full commercial operation by November.
On September 21, the main power transformer of Maris hydro was energized while the first mechanical run of Unit 1 was done on October 6. Maris hydro is composed of two units of Kaplan pit type turbines, with generator nameplate capacity of 4.25 MW each. Unit 2 is expected to be synchronized to the grid in the last week of October.
Maris hydro is a run-of-river plant, where the water from Magat hydro goes into the Maris re-regulating dam, downstream of Magat and into the Maris Main (South) Irrigation Canal. It is a product of SNAP’s business creativity and innovation program that garnered the “2013 IDEA of the Year Award” for the proponent team from Magat composed of Romualdo Cañadido (retired), Nestor Gumayagay, Juanito Pua, Daryl Homer Ramos, and Ariel Yao.
The project, which broke ground in late 2015, was executed by a team from SNAP’s Business Development unit headed by Andy Ana, while the commissioning team is led by Magat Maintenance head Even Snare. It was also made possible with the cooperation of key stakeholders, primarily the National Irrigation Administration, National Water Resources Board, National Grid Corporation, and local government units.
Congratulatory remarks started pouring on SNAP’s Viber chat group as news of the successful synchronization broke in.
“Congratulations on this important milestone for SNAP, a testimony to working together as one SNAP team. Well done!” Chief Business Development Officer Kjell Valdal said.
The US$47 million-plant is located at Barangay Ambatali, Ramon in Isabela, downstream of Magat hydro. Earlier this year, it received from the Department of Energy the Certificate of Confirmation of Commerciality under the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme for run-of-river hydro, provided in the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. The FIT system is an energy supply policy that promotes rapid deployment of renewable energy resources by guaranteeing an electricity rate over a period of 20 years to the developers.
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