By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 24, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Energy Development Corp. (EDC), the Lopez-led geothermal energy, is set to start construction of its 87-megawatt wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.
The company has already issued the Notice to Proceed (NTP) to its wind farm contractor, Vestas, marking the start of actual construction works at the site for the initial 87 MW of what is intended to become a 150 MW wind farm, officials said during the weekend.
With the issuance of the NTP, the Lopez-led geothermal company would proceed with the construction of the farm in a 600-hectare site covering three barangays in Burgos: Saoit, Poblacion and Nagsurot.
Vestas of Denmark is the wind turbine manufacturer tapped by EDC to construct the 87-MW wind farm and ancillary equipment and facilities.
Under the agreement, Vestas would install 29 units of its V90-3.0MW turbines, with a 10-year operations and maintenance agreement that includes an energy-based availability guarantee.
In May, the Department of Energy (DOE) granted the Burgos Wind Project a Certificate of Confirmation of Commerciality, paving the way for the construction of the $300 million project to proceed.
EDC president and COO Richard Tantoco said the company is on track to achieve commercial operations by 2014.
“The BWP is a major pillar of our P32 billion investment plan this year. We are proceeding as planned given our fully funded business plan and the proven Vestas technology. We are pleased to announce that the construction of the BWP will now commence and we are confident that BWP will be the first to achieve commercial operations by 2014,” he said.
To cover the project’s investment cost of $300 million, EDC recently tapped an $80 million club loan facility and sold P7 billion fixed rate bonds.
“It is deliberate that our P7 billion fixed rate bond is a single purpose facility meant solely for the funding of the BWP as this readily covers the spend on BWP this 2013,” Tantoco said.
The Burgos Wind Project marks EDC’s foray into the wind energy business and once completed would be the largest wind farm in the Philippines.
It is part of the move of First Gen Corp., the affiliate firm of EDC to be the country’s leading renewable energy firm.
The BWP is one of the largest investments to date in Ilocos Norte.
Once operational, the BWP is expected to generate about 233 gwh of electricity a year, enough to power more than a million households and augment the Luzon grid’s dependable capacity, which needs an additional 4,200MW in the next ten years, EDC said.