NORTHWIND Power Development Corp. has secured regulatory approval to build a point-to-point energy transmission facility that will connect its 51.9-megawatt (MW) Bangui Bay wind farm to the Luzon grid.
In a decision promulgated last week, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it had authorized the company to develop the limited transmission line that will connect its project to the 69-kilovolt (kV) bus at the Laoag substation to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
“The dedicated point-to-point limited transmission facilities shall be used solely by Phase I and Phase II, and Phase III of the Bangui Bay Project, respectively,” the ERC said.
However, it said NorthWind is not authorized to own the 52.2-kilometer 69-kV transmission line and the 69-kV bus at the Bangui substation. These facilities must be turned over to state-led National Transmission Corp. and privately owned NGCP.
NorthWind owns and operates the wind project located at Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The wind farm is composed of 26 wind turbines, which were developed in three phases.
The company holds a wind energy service contract with the Department of Energy, granting it the exclusive right to explore, develop and utilize the wind energy resources within its designated contract area.
The first phase of the Bangui Bay project is comprised of 15 Vestas V82 wind turbine generator units, each with a capacity of 1.65 MW. The initial phase has a rated capacity of 24.75 MW.
Construction for the first phase began in May 2004 while commercial operations started in June 2005. It is connected to the Luzon grid via a direct connection to NGCP’s Laoag substation.
The initial phase and its connection facilities, including related auxiliary equipment, were required in NorthWind’s electricity supply agreement with Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Inec).
Meanwhile, the project’s second phase comprises five Vestas V82 wind turbine generator units, each with a capacity of 1.65 MW, increasing the wind farm’s capacity to 33 MW.
The project’s third phase involved the construction of six 3.15-MW 3.0 108 DD Siemens wind turbine generators, further increasing the wind farm’s capacity to 51.9 MW. It started commercial operations in October 2014.
Based on NorthWind’s filing with the ERC, sometime in 2007 when its electricity supply agreement with Inec was still in effect, the electric cooperative constructed a 10-megavolt ampere (MVA) substation in Burgos and connected the same to the company’s transmission line.
NorthWind said its transmission line was designed for its exclusive use — to connect its Bangui wind farm to the Luzon grid. It said the cost of the connection facilities is a combination of about $1.76 million for its foreign component and P148.98 million for the local component.
Subsequently, NorthWind and Inec agreed to terminate their supply agreement with the condition, among others, that Inec’s substation in Burgos would continue to be connected to NorthWind’s transmission line.
To date, NorthWind said Inec’s Burgos substation continues to be connected to the company’s transmission line.
The Bangui Bay wind farm is said to be the first wind energy project developed and operated in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. — VVS