Bangui Windmills

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The Windmills in Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte
The Bangui Windmills are located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The windmills, officially referred to as the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project, were a project by the NorthWind Development Corporation as a practice renewable energy sources and to help reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The project is the first “Wind Farm” in the Philippines consisting of wind turbines on-shore facing the South China Sea and considered to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. The project sells electricity to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) and provides 40% of the power requirements of Ilocos Norte via Transco Laoag.

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Geographic Location

The Northwind Bangui Bay Project is located at the municipality of Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Located at the north-west tip of Luzon, Longitude N18o 31’ 30” and Latitude N120o 40’ 30” up to N120o 45’ 30”, the windmills face the sea from where the wind blows towards the land. Its location along the shore is optimal in removing windbreaks and has a terrain roughness of 0. The site, Bangui Bay, borders the South China Sea, free of any trees and vegetation that is approximately 9km long and 100 meters wide. The area is undeveloped and uninhabited making it ideal as a site and poses no threat to the environment.

The location of the Philippines being near the Asia-Pacific monsoon belt is ideal for installing wind turbines. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration attests that the Philippines has a mean average of about 31 watts per square meter (W/m2) of wind power density.

History

In the 1990s former Governor Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. aggressively pursued the development of a power plant in Ilocos Norte due to the poor quality of power provided by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR). Ilocos Norte is located at the end of the power grid that comes from Bauang, La Union which is a province away from Ilocos Norte, making the province most vulnerable to power outages. Poor quality of power discouraged investments in the province. Coca-Cola Bottler’s Company, a company highly dependent on the power in the province, would switch from to INEC’s line from 5pm to 10pm because of the low voltage. Complaints from Marcos never improved NAPOCOR’s power distribution to the province.

In 1996, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a wind resource analysis and mapping study. It concluded that various areas in the Philippines are amenable to wind power installation including Bangui and Burgos towns in Ilocos Norte, Batanes and Babuyan Islands, which are north of Luzon and the higher interior terrain of Mindoro, Samar, Leyte, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Palawan and Eastern Mindanao. The study led to the inception of the wind farm project. NorthWind Power Development Corp, a Danish power firm, supplied the wind turbine-generator units (WTGs) for the site, similar to those already found in Denmark. The project is to be developed in three phases.

Phase I of the project erected 15 wind turbines spaced 236 meters apart on-shore. This was inaugurated on June 18, 2005 and attended by Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Governor Bongbong Marcos, Former DOE Secretary Vincent Perez, Undersecretary Peter Abaya and Dr. Robert Yap, Jesuit priest and Project Director of CD4CDM project of klima, who also conducted the invocation and blessing of the wind turbines.

Ratified by the NorthWind Power Development Corp and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development through the World Bank Prototype Carbon Fund, the Northwind Bangui Bay Project was the first project in the Philippines to have the Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) under the Clean Development Mechanism. The Bangui Bay Project is also the first Philippine recipient of the Carbon Emission Reduction Certificates (CER’s) from the Executive Board of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In 2006, the project produced a 5% discount of the weighted average price in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) or a generated savings of approximately USD1.4 million (PhP 70 million) for the INEC electricity consumers. The project cost for Phase I amounted to USD$23 million.

Phase II is targeted to be complete by June 2008 adding 5 more wind turbines carrying the same capacity as those already existing raising the total capacity to 33MW. All of which follows the arc of the Bangui Bay creating a fusion of technological and natural elegance. Phase II aims to increase the project’s power contribution to Ilocos Norte from 40% to 70%. Phase III would then raise the total expenditure for the whole project to USD$75 million.

Mechanism

Each wind turbine is capable of producing electricity up to a maximum capacity of 1.65MW, totaling to 24.75MW in all. They have three vertically oriented rotor blades on top of a 50m-high tubular tower. The nacelle (casing), which encloses the generator, the gear box and the yaw mechanism (which turns the blades into the wind), is at the rear of the rotor blades. Each wind turbine has a 6-meter diameter base.

The wind turbines capture wind energy and transformed by electrical generators to be transformed into usable energy. The NorthWind Bangui Bay Project produces a total of 74,482MWh of electricity annually. Electricity generated by the wind mills will be sold to INEC under a 21-year Electricity Sales Agreement (ESA) at PhP 4.43/kWh. The expected life of the equipment is 21 years.

The Northwind Bangui Bay Project approximates that 56,788tCO2e (tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) of Greenhouse Gases will be reduced per year for the duration of the project activity.

To ensure that the wind power project would not cause transmission line overloads or instability, a System Impact Study for the project conducted by the NPC (National Power Corporation), which includes a power system simulation study to investigate the system performance of the induction generators and studies of loadflow and stability to determine the adequacy of the power grid. The study indicated that grid reinforcements and improvements in the form of new transmission substation facilities and power conditioning devices like capacitor banks.

How To Get There

From Laoag, take the Laoag - Cagayan route towards Burgos. After reaching Burgos, watch out for the directional marker on the left side of the road that leads to the Bangui Bay. Follow the dirt road leading to the bay. Some wind mills will already be visible from this point then make a right turn to the bay. Travel time from Laoag will approximately be an hour and a half.

The sub-station has attendants to entertain and educate visitors to the site.

References


External Link

  • Video of Bangui Windmills at You Tube.


Citation

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