Guimaras to produce wind energy soon

Wenna Berondo (The Freeman) - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Tourists flock to the island province of Guimaras because of its sweet mangoes and white sand beaches. Soon it will have another tourist attraction: wind turbines.

The Department of Energy said the project, which will be undertaken by Trans Asia Renewable Energy, will not only solve the power demand of the province but also attract tourists as well. It is expected to produce 54 megawatts (MW) of electricity, much higher than the power demand of the whole island at less than 5 MW.

DOE Visayas Field Office director, Engr. Antonio Labios said the project’s implementation may start next year and will be done by phase. At its initial stage, Trans Asia will be putting up six wind turbine generators or towers in San Lorenzo, Guimaras that would generate at least 2 MW each.

According to him, the project has been under study for four to five years because there is need to determine the characteristic of the wind. “There is need to determine what month kusog ang hangin and if it is enough to generate electricity,” he said.

Energy officials said the project will not only benefit Guimaras but also Panay and other areas in the Visayas. The excess electricity that will be produced will be exported to the nearby island of Panay through a submarine cable. The existing submarine cable that connects Guimaras to Panay has only a capacity of 5 MW but Trans Asia is allegedly willing to put up additional submarine cable so that electricity can be transmitted to other provinces.

“This is consistent with the economic development plan of Guimaras to promote eco-tourism,” said Labios.

Engr. Eduardo Amante, chief of the DOE’s Energy Resource Development and Utilization Division, said Trans Asia is now in the process of completing the requirements for it to start the project and finish it on schedule hopefully before end of next year.

Aside from Guimaras, the DOE said another wind power plant is also being eyed in Nabas, Aklan that is expected to produce 15 MW of electricity. However, there might be delay in the implementation of the project because of the problem on the negotiation with the owner of the land where the wind turbines are to be put up.

Wind power plants use the wind to push against the wind turbine blades, spinning the generator to create electric power.

At present, the existing wind energy technology can be found in Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte. Twenty 70-meter wind turbine generators, with a capacity to produce 1.65 MW of electricity each, are now considered among the province’s major tourist attractions. –/JMO (FREEMAN)

ANTONIO LABIOS BANGUI BAY DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY EDUARDO AMANTE ENERGY RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND UTILIZATION DIVISION GUIMARAS ILOCOS NORTE PANAY SAN LORENZO TRANS ASIA WIND
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