Philippines approved over 700 MW of wind energy projects in 2011

Government data showed that the Energy Department approved over 700 MW of wind power projects in 2011, boosting the country’s efforts toward energy independence.

The department cleared the application of CoastalPower Development Corporation’s Prieto Diaz wind farm in Sorsogon province, which has a capacity to generate 420 MW of wind power, the biggest approved to date.

The department also gave the green light to CoastalPower’s 100 MW Mercedes wind farm in Camarines Norte. Approved contracts include those of Energy Logics Philippines’ 100 MW North Pasuquin wind turbines 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 turbines project, PhilCarbon Inc’s in Sagada and Bulalacao and Pan Energy Corporation’s Redondo wind power project.

Wind farm 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 farm 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 turbines projects in the north.

National Grid said in its draft Transmission Development Plan 2011-2020 that "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."