Rizal wind farm may open in May

Alternergy Wind One Corp., a company led by former Energy Secretary Vince Perez, is expected to complete the 67.5-megawatt wind farm project in Barangay Halayhayin, Pililia, Rizal in May.

The $177.9-million project is due for completion in July 2015, Energy Department records showed, but a source said the project might be completed as early as May.

Energy Department director Mylene Capongcol said several wind turbines were now installed in the area.

The Energy Regulatory Commission approved last year the application of Alternergy to develop, own and operate dedicated point-to-point limited facilities for wind farm projects and connect to the distribution network of Manila Electric Co.

The Pililla wind project received confirmation of commerciality from the Energy Department last year.  Once completed, the project is expected to yield around 154 gigawatt-hours annually.

Alternergy Wind One earlier secured a $130-million loan from a syndicate of banks to fund the 67.5-MW Pililla wind farm project.

Alternergy is putting up another wind power facility in Pililla, Rizal, called the Sembrano wind farm, with a capacity of 72 MW and costing $236 million.

The company said power produced from the two wind projects should be connected to the distribution network of Meralco, which owns the franchise to operate in Rizal.

It said connecting to Meralco’s system was the most feasible and least costly means of dispatching   power and would put into beneficial use the generated capacity of the two plants.

Alternergy proposed that the Pililla wind farm be interconnected with the distribution system of Meralco through a 10-kilometer, 115-kilovolt sub-transmission line.

The Pililla wind project will be connected to Meralco’s 115- kV Malaya-Teresa transmission line. The project is expected to be commissioned in June this year.

The company also proposed that the Sembrano wind farm utilize another 15-km 115-kV line from the wind farm to the switching station and then be connected to the Malaya-Teresa transmission line.

ERC said it approved Alternergy’s application but the company should undertake measures “to ensure that its proposed interconnection shall not result in the degradation of Meralco’s distribution system.

Alternergy Wind One is a joint venture between Alternergy Viento Partners Corp., Korea East West Power, a unit of Korea Electric Power Co. and Meralco PowerGen Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meralco.

The 67.5-MW Pililla wind farm is the first renewable power project that has secured full project financing under the feed-in tariff regime.

FIT is a cost-based compensation mechanism assuring certainty of price and designed to encourage renewable-energy producers to invest in the country.  The rate is normally higher than the cost of other power projects.

Alternergy plans to develop renewable power projects with at least 200 MW in generating capacity within three years.

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