Nabas Wind Farm Reenforces
Aklan’s Power Needs
by Ernesto T. Solidum
The Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla declared that Aklan has more than enough power supply to meet the present and future consumers demand with entry of 50 MW Nabas Wind Power Project. This is the gist of the 30 minute presscon with Tri-media held at the main Office of Petro Wind energy, Inc., Pook, Nabas. Aklan’s minimum supply load is 40-42 MW but emergency power reserve on line must be the same rated capacity.
For the Visayas Power outlook, available supply is 2,000 MW while peak demand is 1,900 MW. Thanks to the commissioning of coal fired power plants in Lapaz and Concepcion, Iloilo and just recently, the Wind Power Plant in San Lorenzo, Guimaras. “If there is recurrent blackout/brownout, this can be traced to disruption of transmission grid or distribution lines. At least we are confident that power supply will be sufficient until 2018,” said the Energy Chief.
In response to a remark that the Philippines has attracted no investors because it has the highest residential power rate in the world even surpassing Japan, Petilla said, “commercial users the country charges the second highest rate after Singapore.”
Mr. Petilla agreed to the above stated comments but based on EPIRA law of 2001, the government is not allowed to invest, operate and maintain power plants but is left to independent power producers like Petro Wind Energy.
In Indonesia, consumers of electricity pay half of the cost that we pay here in the Philippines because the government there subsidizes 50 percent of the power cost. Critical analysis however, shows that this is anti-poor and unsustainable since fully 22 percent of $30 billion annual budget goes to subsidize power.
For practical purposes, electric cooperative and big industrial firms band together to get cheaper prices from wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) where they could get as low as P5.00/Kwh, a positive case that happened in Mindanao.
“Regarding the bill of Sen. Serge Osmena in the 16th Congress, I am amenable to abolish the 12 percent E-VAT on monthly electric bills.” He sympathizes with Aklanons paying almost P9.00/Kwh while Metro Manilans bear higher fees – P11.00.
Wind farm project has recently attracted local and international visitors. There is the need to rationalize and plan for eco-tourism projects because of business potentials and local employment generations. We do not like to duplicate the disaster at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte’s Wind Farm where tourists are left out to find for themselves.
Nabas Wind Farm is located at Pawa, Nabas, Aklan about 300 meters above sea level. Its 125 meter high wind turbine perches on deep ravins. It has 4.5 meters blades that can self adjust to any wind turbine per second. The rated capacity per wind turbine tower is 2 MW but could be reduced up to 15-30 percent of rated capacity during the Easterly winds (April to June). The power output is expected to pick up by July when the Southwest moonson starts when it can generate 36 MW from all 18 wind turbines.
Each turbine tower has a base diameter of 4.5 meters and could withstand wind speeds of 270 Kph. The whole wind power project has a commanding view of the Visayan sea, Boracay and Tablas Islands. A 4.0 km winding road allows group visiting tour to see the Control and Protection Area and Switchyard complex.
Initial commissioning power dispatch is 34.5 KV that is stepped up to 68 KV for the power transmission grid of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). This output comes from 9 wind turbines running in full operation. The total units that need to be constructed is 25, seven of them to be located inside Northwest Panay Peninsula National Park. Its pending application on the land to be released is to be decided by Congress.
Petro Wind has adopted the Spanish technology including the hardware. However, the computer software is from China. The total project cost is P4 billion.
The power firm has shown its corporate responsibility to the small community of Brgy. Pawa with significant investments in health and sanitation, livelihood, education and re-greening.
Other guests in the presscon are: Asec Jose Raymund A. Acel, Department of Energy, Vice Mayor Wilbec Gelito, Mun. of Malay; Francisco Delfin Jr. Exec. Vice Pres. for Operation, Petro Wind Energy; and Milagros B. Reyes, Pres. Petro Wind Energy.
A total of 25 members of Tri-media in Aklan visited the Petro Wind project and attended the presscon. /MP