Northwind to put up solar project on wind farm lot in Bangui, Ilocos Norte

By Juzel L. Danganan

MANILA, Feb. 15 (PNA) — Northwind Power Development Corporation is planning to put up a 2-Megawatts (MW) solar project in their wind farm lot in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, according to its Chairman of the Board Niels Jacobsen.

”We are investigating (checking) on solar, because the area where we have phase 3 is away from the sea… Where we are in phase 3 is a very nice area. We have a couple of hectares, it’s not a very big project, it could be about 2-MW,” Jacobsen told reporters.

The Chairman noted the location of its Wind Farm Phase 3 is also fitting for a solar project due to its strategic location away from the beach. Wind farms have huge spaces in between its turbines, which leaves an opportunity for installing solar panels.

”You cannot put solar panels right on the beach. The salt water mist would make that inefficient,” he said.

Presently, the Board Chairman said Northwind is testing three different types of solar panels and six different manufacturers.

However, Jacobsen noted the tests will help in their possible venture into solar panels.

”Solar is new to us, but I believe that’s going to push through,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jacobsen said the Bangui Wind Farm – the first wind farm in Southeast Asia – is least likely to have a Phase 4 expansion, citing its lack of space.

”We don’t have much area. We have not agreed in the board yet,” he said.

Aside from projects in Bangui, Northwind is planning to put up wind turbines in Pamplona, Cagayan, possibly larger than the capacity of its current 52-MW Bangui Farm.

“We are looking at Cagayan, it could be much bigger than what we have. The area is bigger and it would be a similar project to what we have,” Jacobsen said.

But, he mentioned transmission line constraints — for the future Cagayan project — since the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has not yet completed the Northern Luzon transmission line loop and the voltage upgrade of its transmission line.

“The first and foremost, upgrade of the existing San Esteban up to Laoag (transmission line). It needs to upgrade to 230 kilovolts (kVs), right now it’s 150 kVs,” he added.

”We have other projects in the pipeline in Cagayan. It’s the same issue, it needs transmission lines to loop from… If they loop it then we can proceed with some projects,” the Chairman said.

Northwind Power Development Corporation is a wind energy company, selling its power generation mainly to customers in Ilocos Norte. It is a subisidiary of Michigan Power Inc. (PNA)