San Roque hydro plant capacity down due to drought

By Yolanda Sotelo-Fuertes
Inquirer
Last updated 07:55pm (Mla time) 07/30/2007

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines — At this time of the year, the San Roque Power Corp. in San Manuel, Pangasinan, should be discharging excess water from its dam to accommodate more water brought by typhoons or washed down from the Cordillera uplands.

 

But the water level at the dam’s reservoir has dropped to near critical levels.

 

And with little rain in the area, the plant has been forced to conserve its supply, said engineer Antonio Arnaldo of the SRPC’s operations department.

 

He said the company shut down its power generation facility for three days last week, from Friday to Sunday, to conserve water and collect rainwater. The facility, however, started generating power on Monday on a limited scale, he said.

 

Water level at the San Roque Dam was recorded at 226.47 meters at 8 a.m. Monday, more than a meter above its minimum level of 225 meters.

 

Arnaldo said with the limited water supply at the reservoir, the plant could generate electricity for only eight hours, at 95 megawatts per hour.

 

But how long the plant can generate power will depend on how much rain will fall in the coming days, he said.

 

The plant can generate power for 24 hours at 360 MW per hour with an adequate water supply in its reservoir, he said.

 

“We are waiting for typhoons or even just heavy rains. [These are] most welcome now,” he said.

 

In Isabela, cloud seeding operations in the province on Saturday and Sunday did not help increase the water level at the Magat dam.

 

Saturnino Tenedero, dam instrumentation section chief, said the water level at the reservoir was 162.47 meters on Monday, down from the 163.5-meter elevation recorded on Saturday.

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