Where have all plans for electric plants to be powered by rice husk abundant in Bohol and Cantakoy hydro gone?
Some agricultural quarters and farmers, who heard the rice husk to be converted to power before, raised this concern that might contribute to the power supply requirement in the province.
It will be recalled that there is an alternative source of electric if the government had only harness and give it a priority and those are the abundant “mountains of rice husks in Bohol,” according to former provincial official.
The former official said that if the plan of the national government in past administration to push for erecting rice husk powered plants push through then there’ll be no more long hours of brownout or blackout.
He said that Bohol is very much dependent on the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection power supply but the climatic situation changing its pattern makes the province vulnerable to power interruption.
In the past, Bohol suffered a setback, paralyzing major industries and commerce because of unnoticed blackout which reportedly caused by automatic trip-off when low pressure areas hit the region in Leyte-Samar. One such scenario was post-earthquake situation.
The former official proposed a Resolution urging the Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy (DOE) to pursue the plan of the national government in setting up power plants powered by rice husks across the country to augment the unstable power supply of the province and to tap husks for environmental purposes.
The proposed Resolution cited Bohol as one of the eight provinces wherein these plants are to be constructed.
Based on the study, rice husk power plants can generate between 1.5 and 10 megawatts capacity and the technology is viable energy source as used in Japan, he said.
He said the rice husks can be produced as much as 20% of the paddy production. “In 2004, about 3.14 million metric tons of rice husks were generated of the total 14 million MT of rice produce and this translates to 1,600 giga-watt hour of potential energy that can light a highly urbanized city for a year.”
The official earlier said the project (rice husk power plant) could help the growing concern over husk disposal that can harm the environment when husks decomposed because they released greenhouse gases that contribute air pollution. He cited a finding that if rice husks are burned they discharge unfiltered smoke and toxic carbon dioxide that can help deplete the ozone layer.
He added that it’s about time to tap our resources while there is still time to save our environment.
Meanwhile, the plan to set up a 5-megawatt worth Php1.3billion Cantakoy hydro power plant in barangay Cabatuan, Danao, Bohol deserted by the proponents but recently being considered as a promising source of power supply for the province.
“Potential sites for power supply development are Danao (Cantakoy Hydro Power),” according to the just-presented Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP), consisting Power Supply Plan (generation plan); Transmission Development Plan (TDP); Distribution Development Plan/s (DDP); and Electrification Plan.
The said plan (BIPDP) is under the Bohol Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan for 2010-2015 prepared by Bohol Provincial Planning and Development office (PPDO).
Included in the considering hydro power sources are Loboc Hydro Power; Janopol Hydro in Balilihan; Antequera’s Inambacan; Manaba river in Garcia-Hernandez; Balili and Odiong in Jagna; Caimbang in San Isidro; Alejawan in Duero; and Gabi in Ubay.
It was learned that the mulling over the Cantakoy that drew controversies over environmental issues was arrived at by the power planners following the series of blackouts in what the PPDO’s statements on its website described as paralyzing business in Bohol.
The province wanted to have its own generating capacity or island based power generating to cushion the impact of blackouts that are more on distribution-related rather than supply-related.
“The power generation projects using appropriate technologies in suitable areas of the province include formulation of a long-term Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP) to ensure security of supply–available when needed; reliability and resiliency (climate-proof) of supply; and affordability (least-cost),” report said.
PPDO said that Bohol relies mainly on its power supply from Leyte geothermal interconnection with “dependable capacity” of 106.2 MW and 110MW as “installed capacity.”
Bohol is being powered by island based power generating plants: former Bohol Diesel Power Plant but currently run by Southern Island Power Corp with installed power of 22 MW and dependable 17.5MW (but lately could only produce 14MW); former Loboc Hydro plant now run by Santa Clara Corp, 1.2MW and 1.2 MW; Hanopol hydro plant, 5MW for “installed” and “dependable;” and Sevilla Min-hydro managed by Boheco I, 2.5MW for both capacities. (rvo)