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CamSur Takes Lead in Wind Energy Development in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 30 (PNA) -- There are various points across Bicol identified as perfect wind power resources, and the province of Camarines Sur is taking the lead to harness this natural power source.

Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymund Villafuerte over the week announced that works on the P5-billion wind energy farm had started with the construction of meteorological facilities at the project site in Libmanan town.

When completed and put into operation, the energy generation facility could produce at least 60 megawatts of electricity which would be more than enough to meet the province’s requirements reaching only more than 20 megawatts, the governor said.

The Department of Energy (DOE) last year awarded the franchise for the Bernacci Mountain Wind Power Project in Libmanan to Cornerstone Energy Development, Inc.

This development is hoped to earn a reputation for the province as the greenest in the country in terms of energy use and generation, Villafuerte said.

Earlier, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy identified through its wind mapping for Southeastern Luzon several points in Bicol that are ideal sites for utility-scale power applications.

Source: Department of Energy

These sites are coastal areas that include several kilometers inland, as well as the plains south of San Miguel Bay in Camarines Sur, the plains west and south of this city and the coastal and interior plains from Prieto Diaz to Barcelona down westward to Casiguran towns in Sorsogon province.

A franchise for the development of the Prieto Diaz Wind Power Project was also awarded by the DOE last year to Coastal Power Development Corporation.

The NREL mapping also identified as the best wind resources in the coastal areas of Bicol are found at Gumaus Point in Camarines Norte and Quinabungan Point and the far eastern end of Camarines Sur at Rungus Point.

Good-to-excellent wind resources, a report on the mapping results of the NREL reaching here over the week said, also exist in the high interior areas of Mt. Labo in Camarines Norte; the mountains west of San Miguel Bay; Mt. Isarog and the east–west-oriented mountain chain from Buludan to Bitaogan in Camarines Sur, and the mountains in Albay and Sorsogon.

The wind resource on San Miguel Island, Cagraray Island, Batan Island, and Rapu Rapu Island in Albay are also rated moderate to good for rural power applications and marginal to moderate for utility-scale power applications.

The best resources are found on the higher terrains of Batan Island and Rapu Rapu Island, the report said.

In Catanduanes, the NREL report said, a moderate-to-good wind resource for rural power applications and marginal-to-moderate for utility-scale power applications exists along the north, east, and south coastal sections of the province.

Source: NREL | Most Favorable Wind Areas

The best coastal resources appear to be at Binorong Point and Nagumbuaya Point in the southeast part of the island, and at Virac Point in the south.

A good-to-excellent wind resource exists on the higher terrain in the north-central part of the island, on the eastern side of the island west of Gigmoto town, at the southern end in the higher terrain north of Virac, and in the terrain east of Codon in the southwest part of the island, the report said.

In Masbate, which includes three separate islands—Burias, Ticao, and Masbate, the distribution of wind resource is very similar to other areas of the Philippines, according to the NREL.

For Burias Island, the north-, east- and south-facing coastal sections have, in general, a moderate-to-good wind resource for rural power applications and a marginal-to-moderate resource for utility-scale power applications.

The coastal and interior plains at the north end of the island and in the center have a similar resource.

A good-to-excellent resource for rural power applications is indicated at the far north end of the island and in the northwest.

Ticao Island, the NREL said, has a similar distribution of resources with a moderate-to-good wind resource for rural power applications and a marginal-to-moderate resource for utility-scale power applications along east-facing coastal sections.

However, the best wind resource is on the highest terrain in the northwest part of the island, but this only ranks as good for utility-scale applications.

Masbate mainland also has large areas classified as moderate to good for rural power applications and marginal to moderate for utility-scale power applications.

This includes all coastal sections and the plains in the southwestern and northwestern parts of the island.

A moderate-to-good resource exists at Cadurnan Point at the southern tip of the island, the high terrain northwest of Cataingan, and the high terrain directly south of the town of Masbate.

The best resource on the island is the high terrain directly west of Masbate and north of the municipality of Milagros, it added.

According to the regional office of the National Economic Development Authority here a 5-MW wind potential in Baleno, Masbate is considered under the Wind Investment Promotion Round with three other potential sites also presently being eyed in Donsol and Matnog, Sorsogon and Jovellar in Albay.

(PNA) PDS/FGS/DOC/CBD/ABB

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