Renewable energy is generated from natural resources that are continuously replenished, such as sunlight, wind, water, and geothermal heat.
Renewable energy technologies range from hydroelectric power, solar power, and wind power.
Hydroelectric power harnesses water’s potential energy and converts it into electrical energy. It is a simple process: falling or running water turns a turbine, which turns a generator, producing electricity.
Run-of-river hydropower channels flowing water from a river through a canal or penstock to spin a turbine, generating electricity before being returned to the river.
Large hydropower uses the stored energy of water in reservoirs and allows its flow to drive hydraulic turbines, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity.
Pumped-storage hydropower harnesses water which is cycled between a lower and upper reservoir, using surplus energy at times of low demand.
Dam – A structure that holds back water, creating a reservoir where the power plant stores water that is used for generation. Some dams are multi-purpose since they are intended to be used for irrigation, flood control and potable water supply. Headrace – A channel or waterway that carries water to the turbine.
Intake – Structure where water enters a hydroelectric power plant. Gravity pulls the water through to the penstock.
Penstock – A shaft or pipeline that leads from the intake to the turbine.
Turbine – When water strikes the blades of the turbine, energy is converted and drives the generator.The more common type of turbine design for larger hydroelectric plants, such as SNAP’s Magat, Ambuklao and Binga facilities, is the Francis turbine.
Generator – A rotating machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. As the turbine blades turn, so do a series of magnets inside the generator. This rotating part of the generator is called the rotor. The fixed component of the generator is called the stator. It is the cutting of electro-magnetic fluxes between these parts that create electrical energy.
Tailrace Outlet – Water that has passed the turbine is carried through this structure and re-enters the river downstream.
It is renewable, because the water used to generate electricity is not depleted during the process. It is environment-friendly, clean and natural, harnessing the energy of flowing and falling water. It is reliable because hydropower can go from zero power to maximum output quickly, allowing it to meet changing demands for electricity. And because water from our rivers is a domestic resource, it is local and not subject to foreign exchange movement and logistical issues.
Although SNAP-Benguet does not own the Ambuklao and Binga dams, it acts as spillway operator during normal conditions, such as when, among other conditions, there is no typhoon. National Power Corporation operates the dams under extraordinary conditions. The government-owned National Irrigation Administration is in charge of the Magat Dam.