Ilocos Norte wind, solar farms to ease looming power crisis

By Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA, Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY – Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said energy generated from wind and solar farm projects in Ilocos Norte will ease the country’s looming power crisis next year.

“The establishment of various wind farms in Ilocos Norte is very impressive because it is a renewable energy source. It is a long-term self-sustaining project not affected in case the prices of coal and diesel will increase,” he said.

Petilla made this statement last Saturday in Bangui, Ilocos Norte when he was the guest of honor and speaker during the 40th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC)

The secretary also visited other windmill projects such as the 33 MW Bangui wind farm; the on-going 150 MW capacity Burgos wind project and the 81 MW Pagudpud wind farm.

“These wind farms projects are beneficial not only to Ilocos Norte but to the entire Luzon Grid. It costs less because it is low maintenance and no emissions when it enters the grid,” he said.

“Once these wind farms in Ilocos Norte are fully–operational early next year, it can produce 200 MW on–line,” he added.

However, Petilla said that he will not fully rely on the sustainability of electricity generated from the windmill farms in the province because winds drop drop summer.

To anticipate the emerging power crisis next year, he said that he is pushing for remedies that will add power capacity into the grid to avoid brownouts.

“I wish to note that when it comes to electricity, a grid without reserve is bound to collapse,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, a portion of the 150-MW Burgos Wind Project (BWP) of the Lopez-owned Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is set to start its operation this November while the 81 MW Pagudpud wind farm project of the Northern Luzon UPC Asia Corporation (NLUPC) is set to resume its operation before the end of the first semester in 2015.

The first phase of the BWP has at least 21 turbines that can produce 87 MW.

A 4 MW solar farm in the towns of Burgos and Currimao all in Ilocos Norte are expected to begin its construction this year. The solar farm in Burgos town is an expansion project of EDC.
The construction of wind power and solar farms in Ilocos Norte are in support to the national government’s priority agenda to provide clean and affordable energy to Filipinos under its National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) also known as the “Green Energy Roadmap of the Philippines.#