‘With wind farm, Noy needs no special powers’
Ariel Paolo Tejada (The Philippine Star) - November 21, 2014 - 12:00am

LAOAG CITY, Philippines – The opening of a $220-million, 81-megawatt wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte the other day may be the answer to a looming power crisis next year.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sees the easing of the power shortage following the inauguration of the wind farm in Barangay Caparispisan and the development of other renewable energy facilities.

“There is no need for emergency powers because the expected power shortage is only 31 megawatts,” Marcos said in Filipino.

The Caparispisan wind farm was inaugurated eight days after its completion and connection to the grid.

The wind farm is the pioneer project of North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. (NLREC), a joint venture of Ayala Corp.’s AC Energy Holdings Inc., Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure and the UPC Philippines Wind Holdco.

John Eric Francia, president of AC Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Ayala Corp., said all 27 turbines are fully operational as of Nov. 11.

“We can produce at the full capacity of each turbine but it depends on the wind and the grid’s condition,” he said.

Each turbine has a 3-megawatt capacity but only 1-megawatt is currently being produced on each turbine to prevent power overloading, said a wind farm official.

Marcos said the wind farm shows that Ilocos Norte continues to be in the forefront of alternative energy production in the country.

“We are the only place in Southeast Asia to have a commercially viable wind farm,” he said.

The expected output of wind farms in Ilocos Norte would contribute greatly towards improving the power situation at least in Luzon, he added.

The Caparispisan wind farm is the third to be built in Ilocos Norte.

The first was built by Northwind Power Development Corp. in Bangui town and the second by Energy Development Corp. in Burgos.

Speaking at the inauguration, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos said the establishment of wind farms in Ilocos Norte brings clean energy, as well as tourism and economic growth.

“Ilocos Norte is one of the most prosperous, least poor provinces in the country,” she said. “However, Pagudpud and other northern towns continue to lag behind and certainly the discovery and development of wind power is a great boom.”

Francia said the Caparispisan wind farm is off-limits to the public for now.

 “As of now the area is not accessible to the public because there is a lot of minor civil works ongoing in the area,” he said.

“We will assess in the future if it will be good from a tourism standpoint as well, that’s something that we will have to consider, of course there are safety and security concerns we have to adjust before making that call.”

The Caparispisan wind farm is 72 kilometers from Laoag City and 560 kilometers from Metro Manila.

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