$300M wind farm breaks ground, reaffirms I. Norte as PHL’s renewables center


Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has celebrated today, April 17, the groundbreaking ceremony of a $300 million or about P12.3 billion wind power project to start operating next year in the town of Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

Led by EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Tantoco, the event was held in Burgos in the presence of other EDC executives as well as officials of its partner-companies, Vestas and First Balfour, Ilocos Norte provincial officers led by Board Member Mariano Marcos II, Director of Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy Mario Marasigan, and Burgos Mayor Cresente Garcia.

Covering 600 hectares across 3 barangays, Saoit, Poblacion and Nagsurot, the wind farm will be the largest of its kind in the Philippines. With a total of 50 turbines—29 turbines for Phase 1 and 21 for Phase 2—the construction will take less than 2 years to finish.

“We expect to start the construction 4 to 6 weeks from now but the question is if we are to start with 87MW or just gear it to 150MW,” Tantoco said.

With Burgos’s excellent wind quality, the plant will be able to account for approximately 233-million kWh annually and power over a million households, boosting Luzon grid which needs an additional 4,200MW in the next 10 years.

The project also includes 42-kilometer 115kV transmission line to connect the wind farm’s Burgos substation to Laoag City substation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Tantoco added.

A 3-kilometer concrete road to be funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Tourism will also be constructed to connect the wind farm to the main road. Its maintenance will be shouldered by EDC.

EDC is the world’s largest integrated geothermal producer and one of the leading renewable energy companies in the Philippines.

Labeled as EDC’s first wind power venture, this wind project in Burgos will further Ilocos Norte’s tourism, usher in business activities and contribute to local livelihoods and job generation.

“This is what we have been dreaming of for Burgos. Hopefully, this project will raise our local income,” said Mayor Garcia.

On the other hand, Governor Imee Marcos said that the “exemplary launch” of EDC’s wind project supports the Provicial Government of Ilocos Norte’s green advocacy now focused on “combating climate change.”

“Our green advocacy does not only attest to our pledge to promote investment and development but also to our commitment of providing a clean and safer environment for our children,” Gov. Marcos added.

Ilocos Norte is not new to the use of renewable energy which began in the 1980s when the town of Pagudpud established the 5MW Agua Grande mini-hydro power plant.

A 20MW solar farm by a Korean developer has also broken ground in the sunny town of Currimao last November 2012.

In 2005, former governor Ferdinand Marcos Jr. put up 25MW wind turbines, now the famous windmills in Bangui town.

EDC’s pursuance of the wind project reaffirms Ilocos Norte not just as the country’s wind energy capital but also as its renewable energy center.—Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO