LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte: The Energy Development Corp. (EDC) on Friday said a portion of the 150-megawatt Burgos Wind Project (BWP) is scheduled to start operating this month to help ease the looming power crisis in the country.
Formerly under the government-owned Philippine National Oil Company, the Lopez group-owned EDC which is the country’s largest geothermal producer, has also established the Bangui and Burgos windmill projects. The $75 million-worth Bangui wind farm is also the first in Southeast Asia.
EDC officials said the first phase of the BWP has at least 21 turbines that can produce 87 megawatts.
Meanwhile, a Malacañang adviser said that Ilocos Norte cannot fully rely on the sustainability of electricity generated from the windmill farms because winds drop during summer.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said that to anticipate the emerging power crisis next year, 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 said.
However, Petilla said he believes that energy generated from wind and solar farm projects in Ilocos Norte will ease the country’s looming power crisis next year.
He also said that 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,” Petilla said.
Last week, Petilla was in Bangui, Ilocos Norte when he was the guest of honor and speaker during the 40th Annual General Membership Assembly of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative.
He also visited the 33-megawatt Bangui wind farm; the on-going 150-megawatt capacity Burgos wind project and the 81-megawatt Pagudpud wind farm.
“These wind farm 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,” Petilla said.
He said that once these wind farms in the province are all fully operational early next year, it can produce 200-megawatt online.
Meantime, the 81-megawatt Pagudpud wind farm project of the Northern Luzon UPC Asia Corp. is set to resume its operation before the end of the first semester in 2015.
Also, a four-megawatt solar farm in the towns of Burgos and Currimao in the province are expected to begin its construction this year. The solar farm in Burgos town is an expansion project of EDC.