Thursday, 24 March 2011

Ayala eyes 2 Cagayan wind farms

by Alena Mae S. Flores
Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideBusiness.htm?f=2011/march/24/business3.isx&d=2011/march/24

Ayala Corp., which has just gone into the renewable energy business, will participate in the new projects of NorthWind Power Development Corp. in Aparri and Pamplona towns in Cagayan province.

NorthWind chairman Ferdinand Dumlao told reporters the company was confident of putting up new projects with the recent partnership with the Ayala conglomerate.

Michigan Power Inc., a wholly-owned unit of Ayala, last week acquired a 50-percent stake in NorthWind for P512 million, plus an additional payment depending on certain performance indicators.

“Like any developer, we are awaiting the approval of the feed-in tariff. The development of our expansion projects hinges upon approval of a viable feed-in tariff, which we hope that the petition will be filed on or before March 31 by the National Renewable Energy Board with the endorsement of the Energy Department,” Dumlao said.

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

Northpoint is expected to spend around $95 million for the Aparri wind project. The project consists of about 20 to 25 wind turbines that will provide power to electric cooperatives in Cagayan.

NorthEast Wind Systems Corp., meanwhile, will construct the 40-MW wind farm in Pamplona, Cagayan.

The Pamplona wind project may consist of 16 turbines with a capacity of 1.65 MW each. NorthEast, which plans to sell its electricity to the Luzon grid, expects the project to be operational on or before 2015.

Dumlao said the new projects faced “certain constraints,” depending on the feed-in tariff, or higher power rates applicable to renewable energy, and the upgrade of transmission facilities where the projects are located.

Feed-in tariff is the electricity charged to every renewable energy source and guarantees payment to renewable energy developers.

“For example for Cagayan, if we have a financial closing by September, two years from now or by 2013, the transmission facilities should be in place,” Dumlao said.

He said National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which operates the country’s transmission highway, had not made a commitment to put up the transmission facilities.

“They should have a firm commitment because we have to deliver that power [to consumers]. And we need that for the banks,” Dumlao said.

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