• Ilocos wants community-owned power facilities

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    THE provincial government of Ilocos Norte is aiming for community-owned power plants, with local farmers to eventually own the facilities.

    While the province runs a one-megawatt plant that powers five barangay (villages), Gov. Imee Marcos said, the plant is not owned by Ilocos Norte farmers.

    “We are hopeful that in the future, there will be community power plants owned by the farmers because, after all, the land belongs to them,” Marcos said.

    The governor was referring to the land owned by the local farmers who gave room to the provincial government’s renewable energy projects in Ilocos Norte.

    The province currently hosts wind power projects in the towns of Pagudpud, Burgos and Bangui that produce a total of 283 megawatts (MW).

    It also operates solar power farms in the towns of Currimao and Burgos that can produce 26.7 MW and in Pagudpud with the 5-MW Agua Grande hydroelectric plant.

    “When there is no wind, the solar power kicks in. We are trying the combination of solar power and wind power as well as solar power and hydro power,” the governor explained.

    In the past, Marcos said, the province experienced brownouts because “we are at the end of the transmission grid where any little leaf, any bird [that]crashes into the wires, and we would have no light.”

    It became clear, according to her, that Ilocos Norte had to find alternative energy sources while minimizing damage to the environment.

    In combining solar, wind and hydo energy, the governor added, “maybe one day, we can loop them all and complete the grid.”

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