by Alena Mae S. Flores
The Energy Department approved over 700 megawatts of wind projects last year, boosting the country’s efforts toward energy independence, government data showed over the weekend.
The department cleared the application of CoastalPower Development Corp.’s Prieto-Diaz wind power project in Sorsogon province, which has a capacity to generate 420 MW of power, the biggest approved to date.
The department also gave the greenlight to CoastalPower’s 100-MW Mercedes wind power project in Camarines Norte.
Approved contracts include those of Energy Logics Philippines’ 100-MW North Pasuquin wind power project in Pasuquin-Burgos, Ilocos Norte, and 112-MW Mt. Redondo wind power project in Zambales.
The others are Philippine Hybrid Energy Systems Inc.’s 15-MW Puerto Galera wind project, PhilCarbon Inc.’s in Sagada and Bulalacao and Pan Energy Corp.’s Redondo wind power project.
Wind developers are waiting for the release of the feed-in tariff that will guarantee them a fixed rate over a 20-year period. The feed-in tariff is undergoing hearings at the Energy Regulatory Commission.
Wind developers, who are members of the Wind Energy Development Association of the Philippines, are also in talks with National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for the construction of transmission lines that will support the development of their projects.
National Grid has proposed a new transmission project, called the Northern Luzon 230-kV Looping project, that will serve the needs of wind projects in the north.
“This project aims to loop the north-western and north-eastern 230 kV backbone in Luzon in order to provide adequate transmission facilities in catering to the huge wind power generation potential in the region and at the same time improve the overall reliability of the transmission network,” National Grid said in its draft Transmission Development Plan 2011-2020.