IJsselstein, Thursday, 12 April 2007 20:48:17
An international joint venture, Cammon Windsolar Energy Inc., investigates the possibilities of a wind farm in Candijay, Bohol, and 35 other locations all over the Philippines. The site selected is located in the Municipalities of Candijay and Guindulman, on the Anda peninsula in the North-East of Bohol. This location has the potential to yield considerable amounts of sustainable energy at a cost competitive to existing diesel fueled plants, and will also help the country to become independent from the price fluctuations and free from paying for imported fossil fuels.
|Impression of a wind farm.|
Photo courtesy of Cammon Windsolar Energy.
After four years of research, Cammon Windsolar Energy was founded in 2003, to develop wind energy in the Philippines. According to an initial survey, wind power in the Philippines can potentially generate no less than 70 gigawatt, more than ten times the entire electric consumption of today. Wind energy is just waiting to be tapped. So far work has started at eight wind farm project sites. Most of these are located along the windy North Western coast of Luzon, located in Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales. Another site is not that far from Bohol, in Oslob, at the southern tip of Cebu. The plan is to establish a 75 megawatt wind farm. Each of the other selected sites is feasible for constructing a large scale wind farm to generate 35-70 megawatt of electric energy, using state of the art wind turbines.
The company is now looking for partners for distribution and financing possibilities to realize the proposed projects, and large customers to purchase the generated electricity.
Wind turbines can be quite large. A typical state of art wind turbine has a tower of about 50 metres high, a rotor diameter of 32 metres, and a nominal capacity of 600 kilowatts, and costs in the order of half a million US dollars (28 million pesos) including installation. To construct a 40 megawatt wind farm will require about 65 turbines, at a cost of roughly 40 million US dollars. Included are costs to construct high-power lines to the existing power grid or large consumers, transformers to convert the relatively low voltage (690 volt) of wind turbines to grid-voltages (69 to 138 kilovolt), and to some extend the costs of building roads to the site of the wind farm, which are ideally located in windy areas on rounded hill-tops.
|Proposed site in Candijay.|
Picture courtesy of Cammon Windsolar Energy.
The site selected in Candijay has excellent wind conditions, with a mean wind speed of 7-8 meter per second, and is sparsely populated. A grid connection is not yet available, but a connection to the Leyte-Bohol interconnection line, landing near Ubay may be feasible.
Currently, the electric power production in the Philippines is over 6 gigawatt, of which about 55 percent are derived from fossil fuels, nearly 18 percent from hydro-electric facilities, and over 27 percent derives from geothermal sources (it is interesting to note that, with an installed capacity of 1848 megawatt, the Philippines is the second largest producer of geothermal energy, only behind the US with 2850 megawatt.)
Wind energy, although it current use in the Philippines in negligible, has the potential to become the third pillar of sustainable, environmentally responsible energy production for the country, alongside geothermal and hydro-electric power. Using these sources of energy will bring the country independence from imported fossil fuels, will guarantee a stable price for electricity, and will reduce CO2 emissions and air-pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. Some countries, such as Germany and Denmark, have already heavily invested in wind-energy, and wind turbines have become a common ingredient of the landscape. In the not so far future, we may also be seeing turbines appear in the Philippines, and perhaps even Bohol!
The site of Cammon Windolar Energy provides a lot of details on the proposed wind farms in the Philippines. Certainly worth a visit!
Much interesting and detailed background information on wind energy can be found on the site of the Danish Wind Energy Association.
A World Bank study on geothermal power provides more background to another much promising source of energy.
As always, much more information can be found using Google with the appropriate keywords.
Since this article originally went on-line in July 2004, We've not seen much progress on this field in Bohol. However, I was happy to see an article in the Bohol Standard announcing further research on the feasibility of wind turbines providing energy in Panglao. We will follow this story, and keep you updated.