BURGOS, Ilocos Norte, April 20 — Aside from being dubbed as the home of the first wind farm in Southeast Asia, Ilocos Norte also boasts of a unique renewable energy program because of a solar power installation inside a wind power facility in the northern town of Burgos.

Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (DOE-REMB), said the renewable energy facility in Burgos town is composed of a 4.1-megawatt (MW) solar farm within the 150-MW wind farm.

“Around the world, it is only in Burgos town that solar panels are built under wind turbines to simultaneously generate power,” he said.

Owned by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the combined solar and wind farm was designed to sustain the company’s year-round power generation.

The solar farm is expected to augment EDC’s wind power generation during the low-wind season from April to September.

The wind farm has the highest generation during the high-wind season from October to March.

Last Thursday, the delegates of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation-Expert Group on New Renewable Energy Technology (APEC-EGNRET44) visited the dual power plants in connection with their discussion about the use of Photovoltaic (PV) solar power technologies as a source of renewable energy (RE).

The four–day APEC-EGNRET forum was held in Fort Ilocandia here on April 13- 16.

The 4.1-MW solar farm composed of at least 13,420 panels was built in a six–hectare portion of the wind farm lot. Its construction was completed in March.

With the bright prospects on solar energy construction in the country, the Philippine government amended last year its installation targets of solar energy generation from 50 MW to 500 MW.

“For the Philippines, we have implemented the net metering for PV solar installations in academic institutions. This encouraged the academe to build their own RE system such as the solar PV on their rooftops,” said Marasigan. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)