ERC allows NorthWind to operate 5 more wind-power units in Ilocos

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THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it has approved the issuance of a certificate of compliance (COC) to NorthWind Power Development Corp. (NPDC) for the second phase of its project

The second phase of NorthWind’s project involves five wind-power generating sets in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, which would increase its installed generating capacity by 8.25 megawatts (MW).

NPDC is an independent power producer (IPP) that supplies part of the electricity requirement of Ilocos Norte through the distribution utility Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative Inc. (Inec).

NorthWind’s power plant is the first commercial capacity on-grid wind-turbine farm in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It is also the first to be registered with the executive board of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change- Kyoto Protocol.

A COC is a document issued to a generation company (GenCo) or a self-generating facility (SGF) certifying compliance to the technical and financial standards contained in the ERC’s “Guidelines for the Issuance of Certificate of Compliance for Generation Companies/Facilities, as Amended.”

The ERC said a generating company must have a valid COC in order to sell electricity to a distribution utility (DU), supplier, end-user or the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The ERC, on June 15, 2005, issued a COC for Phase I, which has a capacity of 24.75 MW.

With the forthcoming operation of Phase II, the wind farm project will now have an aggregate installed capacity of 33 MW.

The wind-farm project generated a savings of approximately $2.54 million for the consumers of the Inec in 2006 and 2007.

The savings happened since NPDC was embedded in the Inec grid and thus negated the power-delivery charges of the National Transmission Corp.

NPDC’s aggregate installed capacity of 33 MW is only 0.33 percent and 0.25 percent of the Luzon grid and the national grid, respectively, which is way below the current limits set by the ERC.

The ERC must ensure that a generating company does not exceed the market-share limitations in the grid set at 30 percent where it operates and in the national grid set at 25 percent.

The ERC determines the compliance of a generating company to the market-share limitations by determining the maximum load-carrying capability of the facility operated by the GenCo on a yearly basis.

“The ERC lauds NPDC for investing in eco-friendly renewable-energy projects for cheaper-electricity service and a clean and green environment,” Zenaida Ducut, ERC chairman, said.

She added that the electricity that NPDC generates displace greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, by approximately 65,000 tons per year.

“With its compliance to the technical, financial and environmental standards set by law, our Ilocano fellowmen can rest assured that the ERC has carefully reviewed the safety and reliability of the NPDC’s wind farm facilities,” Ducut said.

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