MALOLOS CITY (PIA) — About 1,434 farmers in Bulacan benefit from three solar-powered irrigation projects of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
They are located in barangays Sampaloc in the municipality of San Rafael, and Malamig and Tibagan in the town of Bustos.
NIA Regional Manager Josephine Salazar said a total of 115 solar panels with 60 kwp (kilowatt peak) capacity were installed on top of the irrigation canal of Kapatiran Solar Pump Irrigation System in barangay Sampaloc.
“The project provides irrigation water supply to 150 hectares of agricultural land in San Rafael, benefitting 114 farmers. Since its operation, there was a reduction of more than half of its Annual Average Electrical Expenses,” she furthered.
Meanwhile, the BUSPAN Solar Pump Irrigation System in barangay Malamig has a service area of 350 hectares and 320 farmer-beneficiaries while the ANBUSPA Solar Pump Irrigation System in barangay Tibagan irrigates 1,200 hectares of farmland and benefits 1,000 farmers.
NIA continues its venture for solar-powered irrigation projects as an innovative technology to replace diesel pumps.
It consists of solar panels, pumps, electronic pump controllers, storage tanks, and conveyor systems.
With solar power, it is seen to be more cost-effective than the fuel-powered irrigation pumps due to operation costs. (CLJD/VFC-PIA 3)