Windmills can fill in any power shortage

LAOAG CITY, August 22 – Energy executives in the province are hopeful that the power produced from renewable energy facilities in Ilocos Norte would fill in the power shortage that is expected to occur in summer next year.

Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) board president Rey Lazo said solar and wind farms which will be fully operational this year are the probable alternative sources of power supply.

“Whatever energy outputs from these renewable energy plants will help supply a part of the projected power shortage problem next year,” Lazo said.

Ilocos Norte is already home to an operational 33-megawatt (MW) windfarm in Bangui town operated by the Northwind Power Development Corp.

Waiting in the wings are the 87-MW Burgos Wind Project (BWP) of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in Burgos town and the 81-MW Pagudpud Wind Farm Project of the Northern Luzon UPC Asia Corporation (NLUPC) including the 4-MW solar farm in the towns of Burgos and Currimao which are all expected to operate within the year.

“Although the power generated from the renewable energy plants goes directly to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WSEM) for sale, our electric cooperative might buy it at a lower cost as we pay a lower transmission charge due to the proximity of these plants to us,” Lazo explained.

Lazo disclosed that INEC has an existing contract with the San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC) as power generator.

The power rates of INEC this August are P9.1083 per kilowatt hour (kwh) for residential and P8.0782 kpwh for industrial. The current electricity rates in Ilocos Norte are slightly lower than the rates last July which were P9.3082 kwh for residential and P8.2713 kwh for industrial. (MCA/FGL, PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)