Ilocos Norte welcomes another solar farm

Ariel Paolo Tejada - Philstar.com

DINGRAS, Philippines - Another solar farm went online in Ilocos Norte on Monday.

The one-megawatt solar farm is the first renewable energy project of Korean company Bosung Powertec Phils. Inc. in the country through a build-operate-transfer scheme.
Located at the back of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) main office in Suyo village, the solar farm has a total of 3,240 sheets of 310 solar modules, a 950 kilowatt inverter, and a 1,000 kilovolt-amps step-up transformer and high voltage switch gear.
Moon Jiang, president of Bosung Powertec, said the solar farm costs $3 million and is expected to generate 1.6 megawatt hours annual generation with P11 million annual revenue.
“The break-even point for recoup for our investment is assumed to be at 12 years. We will then turn over all the facilities to INEC free of charge and as scheduled by mutual agreement,” Jiang said.
Felino Herbert Agdigos, INEC general manager, said with the establishment of the solar farm and with the existing two-megawatt hydro power plant in Pagudpud town, INEC will become less dependent on coal energy and minimize its carbon footprints.
“This will definitely improve voltage quality in the province because of the project’s proximity to our distribution system which will enhance system efficiency and power quality,” Agdigos added.
He also said that the solar power plant will indirectly contribute to lowering rates by reducing transmission costs.
Generated energy will still be transmitted to Wholesale Electricity Spot Market and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
Ferdinand Villareal of the National Electrification Administration said INEC is the first electric cooperative (EC) to venture into renewable energy.
He encouraged other ECs to follow in order to achieve the right balance between renewable and traditional sources of energies.

“Solar farms such as this have the purpose of augmenting power supply requirements of the ECs during daytime and addresses the demand during peak hours serving as a peak shaving solution,” he said.

Bosung Powertec has assisted in the development of more than 50 ECs and several private industries in the country.
Aside from building the solar farm, Bosung Powertec has also started a system upgrading project in Ilocos Norte in partnership with Korea Electric Cooperative.
Ilocos Norte has two other existing solar plants, one is a 7.9MW solar farm established by Energy Development Corporation (EDC) situated in Burgos town while the other is a 20 MW solar power plant project of Soleq Philippines Inc. located in Currimao town. 

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