WIND farm operator NorthWind Power Development Corp. (NPDC) is urging the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to pursue the development of its transmission line looping project in Northern Luzon.
NorthWind chairman Niels Jacobsen said the North Luzon loop will not only encourage other power projects but also enhance transmission security.
“In all other countries in the world you would always have a loop for security reasons. It would make very much sense to loop it. If they (NGCP) loop it, then we can proceed with the projects,” Jacobsen told reporters.
In justifying his call, Jacobsen said developers are hesitant to put up power projects because of the lack of transmission facilities. But the NGCP, he added, is cautious about putting up the lines and that the project may not get off the ground.
“It is very much a chicken-and-egg situation. I, as developer, would not want to put up a wind farm if in case it cannot generate. NGCP, on the other hand, is also hesitant and would have a problem in getting it approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to put up a big transmission line if there’s no use for it,” Jacobsen explained.
To woo more players, he said the national grid operator should now pursue the looping project.
“That’s why I’m saying there is actually already a need for it because it loops the system. Once this is done, then yes, then there can be a number of projects,” he said.
NorthWind is developing wind projects in Aparri and Pamplona, both in Cagayan, with a potential capacity of up to 80 megawatts (MW) of wind energy.
Northpoint Wind Power Corp. (NWPC), a subsidiary of NorthWind, is undertaking the new projects which include the development of the 40-MW wind project located along the shoreline of Barangay Dodan in Aparri, Cagayan.
The project, which is estimated to cost about $95 million, consists of about 20 to 25 wind turbines that will provide power to electric cooperatives in Cagayan.
The 40-MW wind farm in Pamplona, Cagayan will be developed by NorthEast Wind Systems Corp. (NWSC), another unit of NorthWind. It may consist of 16 turbines of 1.65 MW capacity. NorthEast will sell electricity to the Luzon Grid.
According to Jacobsen, the two projects could be bigger than NorthWind’s existing 52-MW wind project in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.
“It could be much bigger than we have. We actually thought this looping of the line would happen much earlier,” Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen also said they are still studying possible expansions of the Bangui wind project.