No green light signal yet to wind power developers

LAOAG CITY, Oct.30  — Wind power developers are awaiting approval of the confirmation of their commerciality before they could start developing wind farms in various sites in the province.

The confirmation from the Department of Energy (DOE) will give the green light signal for developers to move from pre-development and exploration stage to development and commercial stage. It also declares that the project is commercially feasible and viable.

Troels Carstensen, managing director of the UPC renewables, said their 550 megawatt-wind project in the villages of Balaoi and Caparispisan in Pagudpud town has been in the exploration stage since 2008.

“Ilocos Norte has the best wind resource in the country,” he said during a forum on the DOE’s Philippine Energy Plan last week.

Two other developers, the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and Energy Logics will put up their own plants in Burgos and Pasuquin towns.

EDC plans to build a $310-million facility in Burgos while Energy Logics will have their own plants in Burgos and Pasuquin at the cost of $380 million.

Carmencita Bariso, assistant director of the Energy Planning and Policy Bureau, said four more wind power projects and two solar power projects are set to rise in Ilocos Norte.

“Developers of wind and solar projects have pending applications with the DOE,” she said.

DOE said wind energy has a gross generation of 44.3 gigawatt hour as of third quarter of 2011.

The country’s wind power generation is primarily sourced from the 33 MW Northwind Power Development Corporation located in Bangui town.

The DOE has issued at least 52 wind service contracts with total resource potential of 70.5 MW and seven solar power contracts.

Bariso said potential solar resources in the country would be developed within the next 20 years with a total potential capacity of 284.1 MW.

The DOE recently launched the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) to address climate change.

Under the program, the DOE targets a 3 percent increase in renewable energy projects for geothermal, biomass, hydropower, wind and solar. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)