Wind energy in Philippines: Ilocos wind farm now delivering power to grid

The 150-megawatt (MW) wind power project of Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has started delivering power to the grid following its successful commissioning last Wednesday.


In a statement on Friday, the Lopez-led company announced that EDC Burgos Wind Corp. informed the Department of Energy (DoE) that its 150-MW wind farm had achieved successful commissioning.

“[S]uccessful commissioning means that the renewable energy project ‘is now physically connected to the grid’ and is ‘delivering power to the transmission system,” according to the statement.

The 150-MW project is divided into two phases. The first 87-MW facility is slated to start commercial operations before the end of this year, while the remaining 63-MW is expected to start operations by March next year.

The Burgos Wind Project is the first wind facility to be enrolled under the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

Under this, electricity generated by the plant will be dispatched to the grid at a rate of P8.53 per kilowatt-hour over a period of 20 years.

The DoE already nominated the project as FIT eligible, having achieved the required 80% electromechanical completion on Sept. 25 (for the 87 MW) and Oct. 10 (63 MW).

“To date, the Project is the only project that has been nominated by the DoE to the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission),” EDC said.

The DoE on Friday confirmed that the project has been declared as FIT eligible.

As a next step, the agency will have to validate the successful commissioning of the project, according to Director Mario C. Marasigan of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau.

“Upon validation, we will issue a certificate of endorsement to the ERC. After that, the ERC will issue a certificate of compliance (CoC) under FIT,” Mr. Marasigan said in a phone interview.

EDC said it would start commercial operations upon receipt of the CoC.

EDC injected $450 million in the project. It secured $315 million worth of financing from a group of local and international banks last month.

Denmark’s export credit agency, Eksport Kredit Fonden, guaranteed a portion of the dollar loan component.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., DZ Bank AG, ING Bank NV, Malayan Banking Bhd, and Norddeutsche Landesbank Gironzentrale served as the lead arrangers for the foreign tranche of the loan.

The local tranche, on the other hand, was arranged by PNB Capital and Investment Corp. The other local lenders were BDO Unibank, Inc., Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank and Security Bank Corp.

The Burgos wind project is one of the largest investments in Ilocos Norte.

The facility occupies a 600-hectare site, straddling barangays Saoit, Poblacion and Nagsurot in the municipality of Burgos.

It is also EDC’s first wind power project after establishing itself as the country’s leading geothermal producer.

The company is all set to further cement its footprint in the renewable energy sector.

Last month, it received new service contracts — one for solar and six for wind.

The solar project — which will serve as the company’s first venture into this kind of energy resource — will also be built in Burgos.

The company also secured contracts for two wind projects in Iloilo — one in a site straddling Batad and San Dionisio, and another in Concepcion.

Three wind projects are also being considered in Matnog, Sorsogon, while another is planned for a site on the border of Manapla and Cadiz City in Negros Occidental.

Capacities of these projects have yet to be determined.

EDC operates 12 power facilities in five geothermal service contract areas in the Philippines.

The company last month switched on its 49.4-MW Nasulo geothermal plant in Negros Oriental.

The power project serves as the replacement for its 49-MW Northern Negros geothermal plant in Negros Occidental, which was shut down in 2011 due to regressed steam production and impairment losses.

To utilize the remaining facilities and assets of the geothermal plant, EDC’s board approved the transfer of such assets and operate the new project in Negros Oriental.

EDC, through First Gen Hydro Power Corp., also operates the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydro power plant in Nueva Ecija.