Monday, May 20, 2013

Philippines approves three new wind farms

MANILA — The Philippines has approved three wind farm projects that will generate 208 megawatts, enough to power more than 40,000 middle-class homes, an energy official said on Monday.
The wind projects will be the first to benefit from an incentive scheme which aims to ensure half the country's energy comes from renewable sources by 2030, compared with about 39 percent currently, the official said.
The three projects are due to be operational by early 2015, said Mario Marasigan, the energy department's renewable energy bureau chief.
"We approved their declarations of commerciality. They (guaranteed) to us that they are viable under the rate of 8.53 pesos (20 cents) per kilowatt hour," he told AFP.
Under the incentive scheme, wind companies will get a fixed kilowatt hour rate of 8.53 pesos (20 cents) rather than a fluctuating amount. The provision is part of the 2008 renewable energy law intended to spur investment in sources including geothermal, biomass, solar, hydro and wind.
The largest of the projects is a wind farm to be set up in Burgos town, 320 kilometres (199 miles) north of Manila by Energy Development Corp. -- the 87-megawatt project will cost an estimated $300 million, the company said in a statement.
Two other wind projects of 67.5 megawatts and 54 megawatts will also be set up by local firms, Alternergy Wind One Corp. and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., respectively.
The two firms declined to disclose how much their projects would cost.
The Philippines already has one 33-megawatt wind power plant in the north, set up in 2005 before the renewable energy law was passed.