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Ayala boosts wind farm

NorthWind Power Development Corp., a company controlled by Ayala Corp., will start the third phase of the Bangui Bay wind farm in Ilocos Norte province to add 18 megawatts to the existing 33-MW project.

Energy Department records showed the expansion project would raise the total capacity of Bangui wind farm to 51 MW, solidifying its status as the biggest wind farm in Southeast Asia.

NorthWind has already received clearance for the grid impact study while clearing work and site inspection started in January this year, records showed.

Energy Department assistant director Marissa Cerezo confirmed the expansion project, saying NorthWind expected to complete the project by the third quarter.  “Construction is ongoing for the 18 MW,” Cerezo said.

The Bangui Bay wind farm sells electricity to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative and provides 40 percent of the power requirements of Ilocos Norte.  The expansion project is expected to cost $50 million.

NorthWind is also developing wind projects in Aparri, Cagayan and Pamplona, Cagayan Valley with combined capacity of up to 80 megawatts.

NorthWind’s subsidiaries are undertaking the new projects.  Northpoint Wind Power Corp. will develop the 40-megawatt wind project along the shoreline of Barangay Dodan in Aparri, Cagayan.

Northpoint is expected to spend around $95 million for the Aparri wind project, which will consist of about 20 to 25 wind turbines.

Meanwhile, NorthEast Wind Systems Corp. will construct the 40-MW wind farm in Pamplona, Cagayan Valley, involving 16 turbines of 1.65-MW capacity. NorthEast will sell electricity to the Luzon Grid.

NorthWind president and chief executive Niels Jacobsen earlier said the company was waiting for the start of construction of the transmission line that would link the wind farms to the power grid.

“It’s all about the transmission line. [It takes] three years at least for the transmission. We will go ahead with the project when we actually see it [transmission],” Jacobsen said.

NorthWind chairman Ferdinand Dumlao also said with the partnership with the Ayala Group, “we are confident that we can embark on these new projects.”

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