Bangui wind farm operator to expand in Cagayan, Philippines

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The owner of the 33-megawatt (MW) Bangui wind farm — the first of its kind to operate in the Philippines — plans to expand its footprint in the renewable energy sector.

NorthWind Power Development Corp. is looking to develop more wind facilities in Northern Luzon, Chairman Niels Jacobsen said.

He said NorthWind will build two more in Cagayan — one in Aparri and another in Pamplona.

“They could be big projects,” he said, noting that they could have the same capacity as that of the newer wind farms in Ilocos Norte.

Since the 33-MW wind farm was set up, more developers have built wind facilities in the province.

These projects include Lopez-led Energy Development Corp.’s 150-MW wind farm in Burgos and Ayala-led North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp.’s 81-MW plant in Pagudpud.

The 33-MW wind farm itself has been expanded by 19 MW.

Mr. Jacobsen noted that the strong wind resource in Northern Luzon attracts developers to venture to the region.

But he noted that his company is waiting for a transmission facility that would allow dispatch of the power projects’ capacity to the grid.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines plans to build the northern Luzon loop, which would interconnect existing transmission facilities with the main grid.

“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 so that we can proceed with the projects,” said Mr. Jacobsen.

Apart from wind energy, NorthWind is also interested in exploring solar energy.

“We have not agreed in the board yet but we are investigating solar,” Mr. Jacobsen, adding that the facility is planned for near the 19-MW expansion area of the Bangui wind farm.

“Where we are is a very nice area and we have a couple of hectares. It’s not a very big project. It could be about 2 MW,” said Mr. Jacobsen.

Northwind is conducting a pilot test with some solar panels to check how they perform.

Mr. Jacobsen the test involves three kinds of solar panels and six different manufacturers.

“It’s also a learning curve for us because solar is new to us but I believe that’s going to go ahead,” he said.

NorthWind is 50%-owned by AC Energy Holdings, Inc. — the power arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp.

(abs-cbn)

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