Energy Development Corp. has tapped Vestas of Denmark for the supply of wind turbines for the $300-million, 87-megawatt wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.
The signing of the deal with Vestas, the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, signals the start of construction of the Burgos wind farm, which, when completed in 2014, will become the largest in the country.
“We have long prepared for this project and we are determined to achieve commerciality at the soonest possible time so we can supply the Luzon grid with clean, sustainable wind energy,” EDC chair Federico Lopez said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday. “It will displace an equivalent of about 129,000 tons of carbon emissions annually and will definitely help mitigate climate change.”
In a separate briefing on Friday, EDC director Jon Russell reported that Vestas, which was selected after an “exhaustive” tendering process, would supply 29 units of three-megawatt wind turbines, reported to be suitable to the wind conditions in Ilocos Norte.
EDC plans to fund the wind farm project through the issuance of a 10-year, peso-denominated bonds to raise up to P7 billion, according to chief finance officer Nestor H. Vasay. The Lopez-affiliate will also tap foreign banks for bilateral loans to raise anywhere between $75 million and $100 million, Vasay added.
Once in operation, the Burgos wind farm is expected to generate 233 gigawatt-hours of electricity a year, covering more than a million households. It will likewise augment the Luzon grid’s dependable capacity, which reportedly needs an additional 4,200 MW over the next 10 years due to the projected 4.5-percent annual increase in electricity demand, according to Russell.
Russell added that after completing the Burgos project, EDC would also look into a possible expansion of the wind farm to generate up to 150 MW.
The Burgos wind farm project covers about 600 hectares across three barangays in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, namely Saoit, Poblacion, and Nagsurot. Aside from the wind farm, which will have large-scale, three-megawatt wind turbines and an ancillary plant, the project will also include the construction of a 115-kilovolt transmission line connecting the wind farm from the Burgos substation to the Laoag substation of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as well as the expansion of the switchyard/substations.
EDC noted that the host local governments and communities, as well as renewable energy advocates, have all indicated their support for the project given the economic, social and environmental benefits that would be gained not just by the host province but by the entire country.